Inter are not only signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan as a depth option in midfield, but as a potential starting-quality player for next season.

This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who note that the size of the 33-year-old’s wages as well as his performances for Roma last season suggest that he is seen as more than just a backup option to Hakan Calhanoglu.

Mkhitaryan is an opportunity seized by the Nerazzurri to add quality and depth to their midfield on a free transfer, and the hope is that he can play more regularly than the likes of Arturo Vidal and Matias Vecino did last season.

The reliance on the starting trio of Calhanoglu, Marcelo Brozovic, and Nicolo Barella last campaign was something of an issue as there wasn’t a terribly viable Plan B and the starters started to experience fatigue.

The idea of signing Mkhitaryan is not just to sign a player who can play every now and then to allow Calhanoglu a rest, but to add a player with the quality to compete for the starting place and ensure that there are always high-quality options in the centre of the pitch.

The Armenian is arriving on fairly high wages, and given that he played a similar number of minutes to Calhanoglu last season and was an important player for Roma, Inter will expect him to make a significant contribution.