Mkhi keen for long Roma stay

Arsenal loanee Henrikh Mkhitaryan has confirmed that ‘I’d like to be at Roma for another few years’ and revealed Mino Raiola can be ‘very hard’ to work with.

Roma do not have an option to buy Mkhitaryan at the end of his loan spell this summer, but the attacking midfielder is hopeful his stay at the Olimpico can be extended in some capacity.

“I don’t know how long I’m going to stay here,” he told the ‘Futbol with Grant Wahl’ podcast.

“I like Rome as a city and AS Roma as a club, I wish I could stay here longer but it’s not up to me.

“I’m doing my best, I’m training, I’m learning Italian to improve so let’s see what’s going to happen next.

“The club and the philosophy of the manager suits me. I’m very happy to play this type of football because it makes me feel pleasure, it makes me enjoy playing football. It’s the only reason, I guess.

“Of course, I’d like to be at Roma next season and not just next season, for another few years. I still have a contract with Arsenal, it’s not up to me. It’s up to Arsenal and Roma if they agree the terms of the transfer fee.

“My thinking is to play hard, to train hard and to look forward. If I’m not going to stay at Roma and have to go back to Arsenal, I’m not complaining.

“Football life changes so quick, you have to be ready to play wherever you are. If not in Roma, I’ll go back to Arsenal. If not that, I’ll stay here and play for Roma.”

The 31-year-old also gave an insight what it was like to have Raiola as an agent.

“Sometimes it’s very interesting to work with him but sometimes it’s very hard. The most important thing is that he’s doing his best to make the players happy.

“If the player is not happy, he’s not happy too. He wants always the player to be happy, it doesn’t matter if that’s on or off the pitch.

“If one of his players is unhappy at some club, he will find a solution to get you somewhere you’ll play or enjoy life and your football.

“There are situations where he’s very tough and it’s hard to work with him. But it’s normal, you know? He’s the best at his job and I appreciate him.

“I really enjoy working with him but he’s very tough as a person and as an agent. Of course, he has his bad sides too.

“I’ve had times where I call him a few times and he won’t pick up his phone. He’ll then call me back after a month and he’ll ask ‘why don’t you call me, have you forgotten about me?’.

“I’ll reply, ‘Mino, I’ve called you a few times and you’re not picking your phone up.’ He’ll just say, ‘Yeah, but call me a third time, a fourth time.’ He always has an answer!”

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