Roma winger Justin Kluivert wants Arsenal’s on-loan midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan to stay at the Italian club next season amid speculation of a potential swap deal between the two players, Metro says.
Mkhitaryan was shipped out on a season-long loan to Italy at the start of the campaign after being deemed surplus to requirements by former Gunners boss Unai Emery. Despite multiple injuries, the 31-year-old has impressed on the pitch, registering six goals and just three assists in 13 Serie A appearances. Reports claim that Arsenal have opened talks with Roma to swap Mkhitaryan for their 21-year-old winger Kluivert in a player-plus-cash deal.
When asked about the rumours, the Dutch forward refused to be drawn on his own future, but maintained that he would like to see Roma’s on-loan stars Mkhitaryan and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling remain at the club.
"I’m just happy with his [Mkhitaryan’s] help and hope he and Chris Smalling will stay here after this season," Kluivert toldVoetballzone.
"They are top players for us.
"He [Mkhitaryan] transfers his experience to the team and certainly to me. I look up to a player who has already experienced as much as he has.
"He has had a great career and seen many big clubs. I can certainly learn from that. We talk a lot anyway because we play in roughly the same positions and he occasionally gives me tips or emphasizes what I do well. I listen to that because he has experienced it all."