Henrikh Mkhitaryan has hit back at critics who suggested he moved to Manchester United for financial reasons.
Mkhitaryan switched to Old Trafford for £26.3m in a deal that Dortmund described as “incredibly lucrative”, with reports in Germany suggesting the Armenian was to treble his salary and bank a substantial signing-on bonus.
But the 28-year-old has baulked at suggestions he headed to England for money – and hit back at previous criticism from Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
“I can’t understand it – it’s wrong,” he told SportBild.
Hans-Joachim Watzke told Germany’s Kicker magazine that Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision to leave Dortmund was “odd”
“If it was only about money for me, I would have moved from Shakhtar Donetsk to Anzhi Makhachkala and not to Borussia Dortmund. But I didn’t want that. I wanted to develop myself further.”
Watzke described Mkhitaryan’s Manchester move as “odd” and had told German media he was “disappointed” that the Armenia international had not taken a penalty against Bayern Munich in last season’s German Cup final, which Dortmund lost in a shoot-out.
But Mkhitaryan said: “If he wants to assess me on the basis of one game, that’s wrong. He’s probably forgotten what I did the whole season before.
“I would have scored a penalty in Berlin. But there’s a coach and 11 players on the pitch and we discussed who would take one.”
Mkhitaryan has starred for Jose Mourinho’s side in recent weeks after a prolonged spell watching on from the sidelines and admitted he was pleased to see former Bundesliga rival Bastian Schweinsteiger given an apparent reprieve.