Arsenal have confirmed midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the rest of the squad for their Europa League final against rivals Chelsea.
There have been concerns over Mkhitaryan’s status in the country for the final due to non-existent diplomatic relations between the two Caucasus states because of disputes over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. And on Tuesday morning, Futaa.com revealed that Mkhitaryan was assured of safety by Azerbaijan’s UK ambassador Tahir Taghizadeh. However, the north London club has confirmed the Armenian won't be part of the travelling squad to Baku following a collective agreement with Mkhi's family.
“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party,” Arsenal's managing director Vinai Venkatesham confirmed.
“We have written to Uefa expressing our deep concerns about this situation. Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective. We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career.”
“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend.”
The former Manchester United ace missed Arsenal game against Qarabag FK last year as he could not travel to Azerbaijani due to insecurity issues.