Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has handed in a transfer request and is ready to force through a move to Arsenal, according to reports.
The Gabon international has long wanted to leave Borussia Dortmund and first told the club he wanted a transfer in December, ahead of a league match against Bayern Munich.
The 28-year-old was left out of Dortmund’s goalless draw with Wolfsburg, with their coach Peter Stöger explaining that the striker was being punished for missing a team meeting.
And now the German publication Bild is reporting that Aubameyang has handed in a transfer request having effectively isolated himself at the club.
Arsenal had also expressed an interest in the Armenian, but it is understood that Dortmund will only allow Aubameyang to leave if they are able to locate a replacement first. And to resign Mkhitaryan, they need to free up the funds for his large salary.
Arsenal will likely have to pay around £55m for Aubameyang, who has scored 141 goals for Dortmund since moving to Germany from Saint-Étienne five-years ago.
Malcom move proves difficult
In other Arsenal news, Bordeaux have attempted to pour cold water on suggestions star man Malcom could be an Arsenal player before the end of the month.
The Brazilian is one of the Gunners' top targets to replace Alexis Sanchez but might not be on the move after all.
"Things are clear with his agents. He has not been extended and secured this summer to give him away this winter," Stephane Martin told L'Equipe.
"We never had a discussion with Arsenal. From our point of view, it's wind. They can always try, but they will have a hard time taking him from us."
Sanchez deal edges closer
Alexis Sanchez’s transfer to Manchester United was 75 per cent completed as of Monday night despite late interest from Chelsea as Manchester City pulled out of the race for the Arsenal forward once and for all.
United are willing to pay the £35m asking price but Arsenal now want £30m plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan – and that’s where the clubs are differing on the deal. The Armenian would prefer a move back to Borussia Dortmund and the wages on offer at the Emirates are some way off his demands. Mkhitaryan was left out of United’s squad on Monday with Mourinho admitting he didn’t select him because of the speculation around his future.
Arsenal wanted Anthony Martial as part of the deal but it was rejected out of hand.
United are willing to pay Sanchez the £400,000-a-week his is asking for in a deal which would cost the club £100m in total for the 29-year-old who has six months remaining on his contract. This is £60,000-a-week more than what Manchester City were offering, although Pep Guardiola’s side were only willing to pay £20m and backed out of the deal once they realised how much it would cost them in total.
Chelsea made a late swoop on Monday night as the club contacted the Chilean’s representatives to ask about his demands and are willing to capitalise on and breakdown between the three parties. They are hoping the lure of remaining in London will be enough to persuade Sanchez.
Mignolet considering future
Mignolet was dropped to the bench by Jürgen Klopp ahead of Sunday’s 4-3 win over Premier League leaders Manchester City, with Karius starting in goal.
Klopp confirmed before the kick-off that Karius should now be considered Liverpool’s first-choice ‘keeper and he later defended him after his performance against City was criticised, insisting “he will stay in goal”.
Mignolet understands and respects Klopp’s decision and, while speaking to Belgian outlet Sporza, denied reports of a rift between himself and Klopp.
West Ham want to keep Carroll
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his attacking options after seeing his side go three successive matches without scoring a goal.
But Irvine believes loaning Carroll, who has scored just twice during another injury-hit campaign, is out of the question.
"I certainly hope Andy will be a player here at the end of the month," Irvine said. "I don't think we have had any offers, in terms of taking him on loan, and I don't think the club would entertain him going out on loan.
"That does not help us and we need as much help as we can get between now and the end of the season, so I don't know why that would be attractive to the club if it was to come up.
"There has been a lot of talk about it, but not necessarily anybody doing anything about it."
News and rumours from around the web
Manchester City's decision to end their interest in Alexis Sanchez leaves Manchester United favourites to sign the wantaway Arsenal forward on a £350,000-a-week deal, the Daily Mail reports. The Chile international, 29, is said to have wanted too high a salary for City, who pulled out of the race on Monday. City's withdrawal does not leave him a shoo-in for United, however, as Chelsea have discussed his terms and are yet to rule out a bid, according to the paper. As a sweetener Jose Mourinho may give Sanchez United's fabled number seven shirt previously worn by greats including David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and George Best.
Sanchez's impending departure has seen the Gunners open up talks with Borussia Dortmund over a transfer for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to the Daily Mirror. Arsenal's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, knows the 28-year-old Gabon forward from his time at the Bundesliga club and has recommended him to Emirates top brass, the newspaper reports. Dortmund are reported to be after £60 million for Aubameyang, however, which is likely to lead to delays while a deal is thrashed out.
The Gunners' fund could be boosted by the £20 million sale of Theo Walcott to Everton, which could happen this week, the Daily Mirror says. The Toffees are said to be intent on securing the services of the 28-year-old forward, who may be inclined to move to Goodison Park with the promise of more play. The England player, who joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2006, has only made six Premier League appearances this season.
Across London, Chelsea's plot to grab Andy Carroll to boost their attacking options is to be met with strong resistance by West Ham, The Sun reports. The Blues are said to be planning to offer the forward an opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge on loan. Carroll has struggled to be part of Hammers' boss David Moyes' plans while recovering from an ankle injury, however assistant manager Alan Irvine said the 29-year-old remains part of their strategy. According to the Evening Standard West Ham are only open to a permanent deal.
Swansea are in talks with Atletico Madrid over potential transfers for France striker Kevin Gameiro and Argentina midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, Wales Online report. New boss Carlos Carvalhal arrived tasked with keeping the club in the Premier League, and beefing up forward reinforcements is reported to be a priority. West Ham duo Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew are reported to have been targets when the transfer season got underway, although the interest is said to have waned.
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