Manchester United are closing in on two major signings with deals for the Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic looking likely after a busy Saturday.
José Mourinho is keen to sign both players as he steps up his recruitment drive before his first season in charge at Old Trafford. Mkhitaryan has one year left on his contract at the Bundesliga club and, while Dortmund have publicly said that he is not for sale, they have now admitted that the player is ready to move on.
United are ready to bid £30m for the 27-year-old and are confident that Dortmund will accept their offer. The Armenian, who joined Dortmund in 2013 from Shakhtar Donetsk for £23.5m, is looking for a new challenge and is desperate to play in the Premier League despite an offer of a pay rise to remain at his current club.
Mkhitaryan, who has attracted the interest of several other clubs, including Arsenal, would be offered a four or five-year contract with United hopeful that they can agree the fee with Dortmund in the next seven days.
The Dortmund chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, admitted earlier this month that the club had failed to convince Mkhitaryan to sign a contract extension but was still hoping to keep the player for the remaining year of his contract. That hope has now receded and the club, who have already lost Mats Hummels to Bayern Munich, are now trying to get the highest possible fee for the goalscoring midfielder.
Dortmund have already signed the highly rated Ousmane Dembélé from Rennes and, in the clearest sign yet that they are preparing for life without Mkhitaryan, made a £29.2m bid for the Bayer Leverkusen forward Karim Bellarabi last week.
Both Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic are represented by Mino Raiola and the Italian agent, while overseeing the potential Mkhitaryan deal, met with the Swede on Saturday to go through Manchester United’s offer again. Ibrahimovic has already agreed a salary with the club and is now just waiting to talk to Mourinho about his role in the team.
United are prepared to offer the 34-year-old a one-year contract worth £220,000-a-week and the Swede is expected to fly to Manchester in the first week of July in the hope to clinch a deal