Manchester United may not be Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s dream club but the challenge they offered was enough to convince him to leave Borussia Dortmund for the Premier League.
Mkhitaryan established himself as one of the hottest properties in European football during a three-season spell in the Bundesliga, the midfielder scoring 41 goals and creating 49 in 140 appearances in all competitions.
Naturally Dortmund were desperate to hold on to the Armenia international when United came calling, but the 28-year-old could not turn down a switch to Old Trafford.
“United might not have been my dream club, but they have always been among the best clubs in the world for me,” Mkhitaryan told Sport Bild. “Manchester United are a bigger club than Borussia Dortmund, everyone knows that and we should just accept that.
“It was a new challenge for me that I could not turn down.”
Some suggested Mkhitaryan’s decision to leave Dortmund was down to financial reasons, but the he has dismissed such claims.
“I find it hard to understand criticism that I joined United for the money. That is simply wrong,” he added.
“Had it all been about money for me, I would have left for Shakhtar Donetsk for Anzhi Makhachkala rather than Borussia Dortmund.
“But that was not what I wanted. I wanted to keep on developing.
“My decision to leave Dortmund was not a decision against the club. It was just time for a new challenge.”