Arsenal have finally made their move for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but their first offer is highly unlikely to be successful.
Highly-reliable German outlet Kicker have reported on Saturday morning that the Gunners have lodged an opening bid of €50m (£44m) for the forward, a figure that falls some distance below the Bundesliga side’s asking price of between €60-70m.
The report suggests that Dortmund will flat out reject that offer for their star forward, and despite claims that sporting director Michael Zorc would be in London on Saturday to discuss terms with Arsenal, the Germans seem pretty relaxed about the whole endeavour.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke later confirmed that they had received an offer from Arsenal, but stopped short of revealing the figure:
“I can confirm that there has been a first request from Arsenal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and we are not commenting on the sums that have been called from England since noon today.”
Aubameyang was left out of Dortmund’s 1-1 draw at Schalke on Friday night though manager Peter Stoger has suggested that he could be back in the squad for next week’s clash with Freiburg if he is still at the Westfalenstadion. Stoger and the club insist that, despite the striker’s disciplinary issues recently, there is still a way for him to mend relations and stay in Germany.
Aubameyang trained with the Dortmud reserves on Saturday and it remains to be seen if Arsenal will rise to meet Dortmund’s valuation, which would be a club record for the Premier League side, with time starting to run out in this transfer window.
One signing that is expected to get over the line, meanwhile, is that of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Reports now suggest that the Armenian forward’s deal is separate to that which will see Alexis Sanchez move in the other direction, allowing negotiations in both deals to be carried out in a less convoluted manner.
In our first Mixer Irish Football Podcast of 2018, we discuss Martin O’Neill’s rejection of the Stoke job and what that means for his Ireland role, a new era at Limerick and all of the latest League of Ireland transfer news.