Football: Huge price tag doesn't make me automatic United choice, admits Mkhitaryan

Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action during a friendly against Wigan Athletic on July 16, 2016.
Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action during a friendly against Wigan Athletic on July 16, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan acknowledges that his hefty price tag does not guarantee him a starting place at Manchester United and is prepared to fight for a spot in manager Jose Mourinho's first team.

Mkhitaryan, who was voted the Bundesliga Players' Player of the Season in the previous campaign, joined from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month for a transfer fee estimated at £30 million (S$54 million) by the British media.

"It doesn't matter if they buy me for, I don't know, 38 million or 40 million, I am not guaranteed to play the games," Mkhitaryan told the British media.

"So I am trying to do my best during the training to earn this place to play and then we will see, because I don't think I will play every game, depending on the tactical situation, depending on the opponent."

Mourinho expects Mkhitaryan to adapt seamlessly to the physicality of English football, due to the 27-year-old's ability to break open the tightest defence with his passing skills and astute game reading.

Mkhitaryan refused to make any promises but hoped the pressure of playing for United would only make him better.

"I never promise something, I always say that I will try. Because if you promise something and you don't do it you will always be under pressure," the Armenia international said.

"Because for me this is a new challenge and I like difficulties, I like to win the difficulties because when you win the difficulties it makes you stronger, so I'm trying to do everything to come up to a new level."