Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s future at Manchester United is once more a popular talking point after his sister posted a tweet, since deleted, igniting speculation he could rejoin Borussia Dortmund in January.
The Armenian international joined United from Dortmund in 2016 but endured a slow start to life at Old Trafford, with Jose Mourinho originally unwilling to use the midfielder.
Mkhitaryan, 28, eventually broke into the team through his successes in the League Cup and Europa League, which led him to start the current season in impressive form alongside new signing Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has more assists (5) after the first 3 games than any player has managed in the last 6 Premier League seasons.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 26, 2017
However, the 28-year-old has since fallen back down the pecking order with Jesse Lingard hitting a good run of form.
Asked about a mooted Bundesliga return, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke expressed doubts over the re-signing of Mkhitaryan, from a financial point of view, though speculation persists.
Posting on Instagram to acknowledge his award of being named Armenian Footballer of the Year, Mkhitaryan was bombarded with yellow hearts in the comments from Dortmund supporters.
Those comments were then screencapped and posted to Twitter by Mkhitaryan’s sister, Monika, further fuelling talk of a potential return to the Westfalenstadion.
The aforementioned tweet has since been deleted, however, which has only added more momentum to the rumours of the Armenian leaving Manchester United, which had some Red Devils fans worried.
“Please don’t leave” – How Manchester United fans reacted
Mkhitaryan, who still has the highest number of assists of any United player in the league this season (5), started his first game since early November’s defeat to Chelsea on Saturday when he was included in the line-up against Southampton.
While the playmaker disappointed in the 0-0 home draw, and was sarcastically applauded by some United fans when Jose Mourinho substituted him for Anthony Martial after 65 minutes, the Armenian is still highly regarded by the club’s online faithful and well loved, as shown by the tweets of support he received when posting in the wake of his sister’s deleted tweet.
If you stay and work hard you will be seen as a LEGEND. Rather then give up and leave. We believe in you <3
— Anthony Wilhelmsson (@AnthonyWmsn) December 28, 2017
That's the only weapon you have now! Oh, there is one more thing; the unconditional love of your people!
— harry (@HarryYerevan) December 28, 2017
Don't sell Mkhi for anyone…we want Mkhi playing for United for a long time to come
— nOzaY (@BossNozaY) December 29, 2017
Lot of negative comments here support the boy he needs encouraging not slating all our boys do supporters support
— carl peel (@taoofmadphat) December 29, 2017
Please don't leave Miki! Believe in urself.u were bundesliga player of the season for a reason.get in! There's always a chance at united if u work hard.
— Abi (@abishthekkedath) December 29, 2017
Get back to your best Mkhi…. Bad days come to all of us… Class is always permanent…. ??
— ArJuN (@ArJuN_PM) December 28, 2017
Pls stay with manchester united…
— Wan FaiF (@CikguArrogant) December 28, 2017