Arsenal’s deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still depends on Borussia Dortmund bringing in a replacement striker, with Olivier Giroud and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi seen as two of the options, a source has told ESPN FC.
Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle with both Dortmund and Aubameyang for his £55 million transfer to the Emirates, but the Bundesliga club won’t formally sanction his release until they have secured an adequate replacement, the source said.
That means the deal could drag on until Wednesday’s deadline day, although Arsenal remain confident it will get done.
The situation is similar to the one Arsenal faced in August with the Alexis Sanchez saga, although the roles are reversed. Arsenal had agreed a deal with Manchester City to sell Sanchez, but it broke down when they were unable to bring in Thomas Lemar from Monaco as a replacement.
This time, Giroud could be the key to making the deal happen. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said the France striker could be allowed to leave if Aubameyang comes in, and Dortmund have reportedly been interested in signing Giroud.
However, the BBC reported late on Monday that Chelsea have also made Giroud an offer and that his family are keen on staying in London.
That could in turn lead to a scenario where Chelsea sign Giroud and send Batshuayi to Dortmund, who would then sanction the sale of Aubameyang.
Wenger would probably be reluctant to sell Giroud to Chelsea, however, especially after letting Sanchez join Manchester United earlier this month.
Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.