Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal

Arsenal have announced that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel to Baku for the Europa League final clash with Chelsea later this month.

Mkhitaryan, who is captain of the Armenian national team, will miss out on the trip to Azerbaijan due to political tensions between the two nations.

“We are very disappointed to announce that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for our Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea,” read a statement released by Arsenal on Tuesday.

“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party.

“We have written to Uefa expressing our deep concerns about this situation. Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective.

“We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career.

“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend.”

Mkhitaryan has missed his teams’ last two trips to Azerbaijan in European competition and the playmaker reportedly remains concerned about his safety and security in the country.

Armenians are currently not allowed into Azerbaijan due to the ongoing conflict between the two nations over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United Kingdom had offered guarantees over Mkhitaryan’s safety earlier this week, but it seems the 30-year-old has decided not to take the risk.

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