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Henrikh Mkhitaryan will reportedly leave Arsenal for AS Roma permanently this summer, but it’s not an ordinary transfer.
On Tuesday, AS Roma announced Henrikh Mkhitaryan would extend his loan with the club to the end of the season. They added, rather vaguely, that they have a ‘preliminary agreement’ for the player to stay for the next season as well.
This led to some speculation about whether that meant a permanent deal or another loan extension. Journalist Fabrizio Romano tweeted that it’s a permanent move, but suggested Roma wouldn’t pay a transfer fee for the player.
According to The AFC Bell, Arsenal’s main financial incentive to let Mkhitaryan leave was in terms of his wages. Roma will now have to cover the player’s £8.5m wages in full, and Arsenal would also save another £2.5m in loyalty bonuses.
In addition, Mkhitaryan and his agent will have to pay a compensation amount to Arsenal of around £1m to cancel the final year of his contract with the club. Overall, around £12-13m saved.
You ideally want a transfer fee to let a player go, rather than a nominal contract cancellation compensation fee. But it seems Arsenal essentially reached the conclusion this was the only way to get Mkhitaryan’s wages off the bill this summer.