Earlier this week, when discussing the prospect of Roma adding soon-to-be-former Real Madrid midfielder Isco on a free agent deal, we cited the club's track record with veteran players on the Bosman market. From Chris Smalling to Pedro to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Roma are no strangers to the free agent frenzy and have used this Moneyball-style market inefficiency to great effect in recent seasons. While nabbing a low-cost free agent was once seen as a clever way to round out your squad, it's becoming increasingly en vogue among teams in Europe's major leagues.
And when you live by the sword, sometimes you die by the sword...
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s set to join Inter on a free transfer, here we go soon. Mkhitaryan has decided to turn down AS Roma proposal to extend the contract. #transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 3, 2022
Inter were just waiting for the final green light - Mkhitaryan has just communicated that he will leave Roma. pic.twitter.com/qV1U2nvLSF
According to multiple reports from Italy, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who Roma signed as a free agent in September 2020 after his initial loan from Arsenal expired, is set to pen a two-year free agent deal with Roma's bitter rivals, Inter Milan. While nothing is official, nearly every major football outlet in Italy claims that Mkhitaryan has rejected Roma's recent contract offer and will move to the San Siro next season where he'll earn a reported €4.5 million net salary from the Nerazzurri.
After a few down years with Arsenal, Mkhitaryan’s career found new life in the Italian capital, and if this is indeed it for Mkhitaryan and Roma, then the 33-year-old midfielder's Giallorossi career ends with 115 appearances, 29 goals, 24 assists, and one sparkling Conference League trophy. While it stings to lose that level of production, given the current state of Roma’s project, signing a 33-year-old attacking midfielder to a multi-year deal was always a dicey proposition.