AS Roma boss keen on keeping hold of Arsenal playmaker

Submitted by content on Wed, 05/20/2020 - 10:49

AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has said that he is keen on securing the permanent signature of Arsenal forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenia international joined the Serie A club on a season-long loan at the beginning of the season and he has since impressed with six goals and four assists from 20 appearances.

Of course, he has been sidelined with a few injury setbacks but he has nonetheless made a good impression on Fonseca, who is keen to work with him next season, he told Great Football: “I want him to stay and he also wants to stay. However, it should be clear that everything is now on hiatus, and we’ll have to talk to Arsenal. I want to continue working with him because he’s a great player and a great man.”

According to reports, the Gunners are open to the prospect of selling Mkhitaryan this summer, given his contract expires at the end of next season. They have set an asking price of around £20m but that remains a bit steep for the Giallorossi. The Serie A outfit are reluctant to offer more than £15m for the former Manchester United man, particularly with the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the fact that the player’s contract expires next summer.

Aside from Mkhitaryan, the Giallorossi are also looking at the prospect of signing Chris Smalling on a permanent deal from Manchester United. The England international has been one of the top-performing centre-backs in the Serie A this term and the club are keen on retaining his services following the season-long loan.

Similar to Mkhitaryan’s situation, the Rome-based outfit have a tough task on their hands. United are deemed to have increased Smalling’s valuation from £15m to £25m, having watched his progress during the course of the current campaign. Fonseca’s side may struggle to meet the package as they are likely to work on a limited budget, if they miss out on Champions League football.