Manchester United have asked Armenia not to include playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Armenia face Group E rivals Romania and Poland over the international break, but given his recent injury woes, United are keen to see Mkhitaryan stay behind and continue his recovery.
The former Borussia Dortmund star has been out with a thigh muscle injury since last month’s defeat to Manchester City, and the Red Devils are pushing to allow him further rest over the next week or so and continue his own rehabilitation program with the club.
“Henrikh is still undergoing late stage rehabilitation from the left thigh muscle injury that he sustained earlier this month whilst playing for Manchester United,” the club’s head of medicine, Steve McNally, wrote in a statement to the Armenian FA, as noted by Sky Sports.
“In view of that I would be grateful if he could be allowed to withdraw from the national team for the forthcoming training camp and FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches in order to remain in Manchester to complete his rehabilitation.”
It’s added by Sky Sports that a statement from the FFA has revealed that Mkhitaryan “will probably miss” the games as a result of United’s request, which will be a major boost for the Red Devils and boss Jose Mourinho.
Mkhitaryan hasn’t had the ideal start to his spell at Old Trafford, having started just one game so far this season which was the clash with City and he was replaced at half-time.
As a result, he’ll be desperate to return to full fitness and to start playing an influential role for United, although competition for places is fierce and he’ll have to fight his way to the front of the queue regardless of the fact that he was one of Mourinho’s marquee signings this past summer.