Former Man Utd midfield ace Henrikh Mkhitaryan has lifted the lid on his relationship with new AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho, including an interesting motivational insight
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Former Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has opened up on his Old Trafford past with former boss Jose Mourinho after the pair were reunited at AS Roma this summer.
The Armenian ace was one of Mourinho’s first signings as United manager, arriving in a £26.3m deal from Borussia Dortmund.
However, the 32-year-old was shipped out to Arsenal just 18 months later after a disappointing spell.
The pair reportedly didn’t get on – but that didn’t stop Mkhitaryan penning a one-year extension to his deal in Italy after Mourinho’s appointment as Roma boss earlier this summer.
Mkhitaryan enjoyed a fruitful campaign in Italy last year, leaving his Premier League woes behind by notching an impressive 13 goals in 34 Serie A games.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, the ex-United man lifted the lid on his Old Trafford troubles with Mourinho, insisting that the past was behind them.
“What happened in Manchester stays in Manchester.
“We spoke as mature people, we both want to go the same way, we both want to win something for Roma. The only thing that matters is this year.
“He is the same person, but with more desire to win than then (at United). A coach like him never gives up, he always wants to win.
“This characteristic is innate, it cannot be acquired over time. Mourinho is special for this reason.”
The Armenian’s comments regarding Mourinho’s desire will raise eyebrows.
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The Portuguese showman famously declared himself ‘the special one’ upon first arriving in England with Chelsea back in 2004.
However, that moniker quickly became ‘the miserable one’ during his time at Old Trafford, with Mourinho often glum.
Despite that, Mourinho did enjoy some reasonable success in Manchester.
The 58-year-old managed to pick up three trophies in his first season as United boss, picking up the Community Shield, League Cup and the Europa League – guaranteeing Champions League football in the process.
However, he was criticised the next season after exiting the Champions League at the quarter-final stage and finishing second in the Premier League behind neighbours Manchester City.
Mourinho famously declared that guiding United to the runners-up spot was one of the ‘best achievements’ in his career – despite ending up a staggering 19 points behind their bitter rivals.
“If I tell you, for example, that I consider one of the best jobs of my career was to finish second with Man United in the Premier League, you will say, ‘this guy is crazy,'” Mourinho told BeIN SPORTS back in 2019.
“‘He won 25 titles and he is saying that a second position was one of his best achievements?'”
“I keep saying this because people don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.
“And sometimes we, in this side of the cameras, analyse things with a different perspective.”
Roma will be hoping that Mourinho allegedly having more desire to win than he did during his spell with United will allow him to replicate the success he’s had in Italy previously with their Serie A rival’s Inter Milan.
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