Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is baffled by Jose Mourinho's treatment of him, according to Ruben Hayrapetyan, the president of the Football Federation of Armenia. The 28-year-old star has barely featured since his big-money switch to Old Trafford, which has led to speculation about his future at the club.
Mkhitaryan was substituted at half-time during the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in September, with Mourinho later suggesting that the Armenian was overawed by the occasion. Since then, the midfielder has not played for United and was not included in the Reds' squad for the game against Burnley on Saturday (29 October).
"I cannot know what the Manchester United manager is thinking about," Hayrapetyan said, according to Armenpress. "I have talked with Mkhitaryan, he also doesn't know what Jose Mourinho is thinking. Mkhitaryan trains and is in good shape, but no one knows the reason [for his continued absence from games]."
Mourinho, meanwhile, recently downplayed concerns about Mkhitaryan's long-term future at United, insisting he was simply giving the former Borussia Dortmund star time to adapt to the Premier League. The midfielder was one of Mourinho's key signings during the summer transfer window and the manager is confident he will eventually prove his worth at Old Trafford.
"Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100%," the United boss said prior to their 0-0 draw against Burnley at the weekend, according to ESPN.
"Some players have the profile of adapting easily, but some other players need more time to feel the intensity. Some players need time to feel the competitiveness and the level of work without the ball. Mkhi needs time to become the top player we know he can be.
"I don't like to speak about players from other clubs but Willian, when he arrived at Chelsea, had problems. He went through a process. When [Angel] Di Maria arrived in Madrid from Portugal, he had to adapt his game to a new reality, but he did it. Of course we believe in Mkhi and, sooner or later, there will be no problem."