It has begun.
According to German outlet Kicker, Arsenal have made an opening offer of $61 million to Borussia Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Dortmund’s star striker, 28, has been left out of their last two matchday squads amid discpilinary problems and question marks over his future at the Westfalenstadion.
The leading goalscorer in the Bundesliga last season (31 goals in 32 games) has been linked with a move to Arsenal over the past week as they get ready to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United. Reports linking Aubamyenag to Arsenal have seen Dortmund’s sporting director hit out at Arsene Wenger and called the Gunners’ behavior disrespectful.
Talking of disrespect…
Aubameyang was spotted playing five-a-side with friends in Dortmund on Friday while his teammates drew 1-1 with Hertha Berlin (something his manager Peter Stoeger had a less than positive reaction to) as the Gabonese striker wore a BVB shirt with Ousmane Dembele’s name on the back. Dembele was suspended by the club back in the summer as he tried to force through his move to Barcelona, which eventually happened for a fee of $130 million.
I’m sure the Dortmund hierarchy were pleased about that…
When it comes to Aubameyang and where he would fit in at Arsenal, this would be a great fit. He’d be the target forward they’ve needed for some time and imagine Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang in tandem, plus Mesut Ozil and maybe his former teammate at Dortmund, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, (if his move from Man United goes through) threading through balls.
Aubameyang is prolific and has scored 141 goals in 212 games for Dortmund over the past five seasons, including 21 goals in 23 games in all competitions this season.
Olivier Giroud was said to be offered as part of the deal, but his name isn’t mentioned in this report and the Frenchman is said to want to stay at Arsenal at least until the end of the season.
It’s likely Arsenal will have to pay closer to $70 million for a player who has three years left on his current contract, but his goal output is certainly worth that amount, even if his off-pitch antics and somewhat disruptive nature could be an issue for Wenger. At this point, Arsenal need all the help they can get to finish off games they dominate.