Manchester United and Arsenal are set to be disappointed in their pursuit of Henrikh Mkhitaryan after his current club Borussia Dortmund made it clear that they will not allow him to leave the club this summer despite the midfielder rejecting an offer to extend his current deal which expires at the end of next season. The Bundesliga club are willing to lose the midfielder on a free transfer rather than see a mass exodus after Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan agreed moves earlier in the summer to Bayern Munich and Manchester City respectively.
"We have intensely discussed the question of an early transfer in all club bodies and came to the conclusion that Mkhitaryan will stay in Dortmund next season," Watzke told Bild, as quoted by ESPN FC.
The Armenia international had a stellar 2015/16 campaign with Dortmund – scoring 23 goals and providing 32 assists in 52 games in all competitions – which has attracted interest from the Premier league big guns. The midfielder's agent has already confirmed that his client has no intention of extending his deal, while admitting interest in joining the Red Devils this summer.
According to ESPN FC via Bild, the 20-time English champions have made a €24m ($19m, $26.9m) bid for the Dortmund star as Jose Mourinho looks to bolster United's midfield ahead of his first season in-charge at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils, however, will face competition from Arsenal, who have also been heavily linked with a move as Arsene Wenger looks to revamp his midfield following the departures of Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.
But the duo are set to be disappointed after Dortmund CEO Hans Joachim-Watzke revealed that the club have decided to block an early transfer for the midfielder. The Bundesliga club have already lost Hummels and Gundogan and are unwilling to lose any more first-team stars.