Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang congratulated former team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the Armenian sealed a move to Italian giants Roma.
The former Manchester United midfielder spent last season on loan with the Serie A club and they were keen on signing the Armenia international on a permanent basis.
However, the global pandemic has had a far-reaching on clubs all over the globe and Roma no longer felt able to produce the £10m asking price that Arsenal were seeking.
Faced with such a problem, Arsenal felt it was best to release Mkhitaryan from his contract rather than continue to subsidise the midfielder’s wages for another year.
It’s an acrimonious end to Mkhitaryan’s Arsenal career, which barely got off the ground following his arrival at the Emirates in a swap-deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move in the opposite direction.
Nevertheless, if there’s a Mkhitaryan memory that Arsenal fans will hold dearly then it’s the fact that the Armenian appeared to play an influential part in convincing Aubameyang to sign for the club.
The pair were close friends at Dortmund and Mkhitaryan was involved in a welcome video for Aubameyang following his £57m arrival at the club.
The former United midfielder posted a farewell message to Arsenal, their supporters and Arsene Wenger on his Instagram today. And Aubameyang was on hand to send a classy message to his former team-mate.
‘Wish you the best mon frero [my brother], wrote Aubameyang. The Gabon international then followed it up with ‘felicitations’, meaning ‘congratulations’.
Aubameyang is unlikely to follow Mkhitaryan through the exit doors this summer as the 31-year-old is set to sign a new long-term deal at the Emirates. The Gabonese has 12 months left on his existing deal but he’s now happy to stay at the club after seeing the progress made under Mikel Arteta.