“But Dortmund are sick of playing the role of feeder team for Europe’s elite – captain Mats Hummels was the latest in a long line of Bayern converts, while Ilkay Gundogan signed for Man City, with goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reported to follow him.
“At 27, the German side know that Mkhitaryan is in his prime, and are willing to play hardball – even forcing him to see out the next twelve months of his deal.
“They did the very same thing before Robert Lewandowski went to Munich.
“But they also know that £30m would represent a decent price, and a substantial amount to reinvest, so Jose will likely get his way.
“It spells bad news for Juan Mata, who lacks the athleticism of the Armenian and fills a similar position in the team.”