London – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hinted at a January exit for out-of-favour midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan by saying that "every player has his price".
The Armenian has been left out of the United squad for seven of their last eight matches, and made just one substitute appearance, in the 1-0 defeat of Brighton & Hove Albion after starting in 1-0 loss to Chelsea in November.
Reports from the media suggest the player and manager have had a falling out over criticism of his defensive displays against both the Blues and the Seagulls.
Mkhitaryan, who is understandably not expected to play against West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday, had a slow start to his United career after signing from Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of last season.
But he ultimately became a central figure for the club and went on to shine in midfield, making 41 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring four league goals and six in the Europa League, including one in the 2-0 final win over Ajax Amsterdam.
He also started well this term but it remains to be seen if he will be able to resurrect his United career.
Ahead of this weekend's game, Mourinho said: "If a player is not happy and brings with the request a number we consider good for us, I would never say no.
"That is my approach as a manager. Every player has a price."
However, Mourinho also gave a more tactical reason as to why Mkhitaryan has been missing from his side in recent weeks.
He explained: "I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench.
"I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas. I had Ashley Young to cover me all the wings and the wing-back position.
"I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger.
"I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team. To have Mkhi means that I don't have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [the chance to play]."
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