Inter Milan were keen to make a contract extension for midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan official before 2024 for a couple reasons.

Today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, note the opening of the January transfer window and the scrapping of the Growth Decree in football as key factors.

Now it’s official. Mkhitaryan has signed a new contract with Inter until the end of June 2026.

Reports of that new deal being in the works had circulated for a few weeks already.

It has been clear that Inter have wanted to tie Mkhitaryan on a new deal for a while, considering his continued importance to the team.

The Armenian has been a regular starter all through the campaign. He is close to being the first name on the team sheet in important matches.

But the timing of Mkhitaryan’s extension reflects an urgency on Inter’s part that isn’t just based on his performances on the pitch.

Inter Push Henrikh Mkhitaryan Contract Through In 2023 For Two Reasons

The first reason that Inter wanted to make sure Mkhitaryan put pen to paper on a new deal as early as he has done concerns the opening of the January transfer window.

Since the former Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund’s man previous contract had run out at the end of next June, he would have theoretically been free to leave on a free transfer next summer.

There was not likely too much of a risk of this.

Inter have long been in positive contract talks with Mkhitaryan and his representatives.

But at the same time, the Nerazzurri were aware of the risk of another club approaching Mkhitaryan once the January transfer window opened.

Had a compelling offer arrived next month, the 34-year-old could have decided to move clubs in the summer.

So Inter made sure to commit Mkhitaryan’s future before there was a chance of that happening.

Then, there is the matter of the Growth Decree.

Inter are able to apply the tax benefits of the policy to Mkhitaryan’s wages.

But with the Italian government scrapping the application of the policy to football in 2024, the club would no longer be able to do so had they waited until next year to formalize Mkhitaryan’s new deal.

That is also, the Gazzetta explain, why Mkhitaryan’s deal runs until the end of June 2026.

That means that the Armenian is under contract until then with the Growth Decree applied.

Even if Inter decide to terminate Mkhitaryan’s deal with a severance payment, as there is reportedly a clause in his contract, the important thing is that the June 2026 date falls under the auspices of the Growth Decree.