Arsenal have finally agreed a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with a fee around the £60m being touted. The deal hinges on Dortmund finding a replacement, and it seems that it could very well fall through at this late stage.
Reports last night broke that Oliver Giroud was heading to West London to sign for Chelsea in a £15m deal, but later reports suggested the contrary. Arsenal were in fact looking much more than a mere £15m for a Premier League proven, international marksman, and Chelsea would have to up their offer.
This news followed reports that Arsenal had originally sanctioned a deal for him to head to Germany, and sign for Dortmund. Conflicting reports suggested that Arsenal’s asking price was too high and that Giroud favoured a move to Chelsea as his wife was happy in London.
Then we come to the third twist – if Chelsea cannot sign a striker, they will not let Mitchy Batshuayi sign for Dortmund on loan, meaning Dortmund will not let Aubamayang leave in this window. So, Giroud to Chelsea may be the crucial cog in the striking merry go round.
Merry-go-round: Giroud was lined up to replace Aubameyang at Dortmund then got offer from Chelsea & was keen, so Dortmund turned to Batshuayi. But Chelsea baulked at Giroud fee so discussed Batshuayi/Llorente swap with Spurs, which nobody agreed on. Deadlock #AFC #BVB #CFC THFC pic.twitter.com/HA6ymZ6IiN
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) January 29, 2018
Giroud to Chelsea is a deal that will anger most Arsenal fans, but not signing Aubamayang will anger them more. Arsenal needAubamayang if they are to compete, and while Olivier Giroud is a top class player, he’s not at the same level as the Gabonese speed merchant.
With that in mind, Arsenal must sanction the deal for Giroud to Chelsea. It’s the lesser of two evils. It will appease the fans overall, and it will increase the quality in the squad, and Aubamayang is much for suited to Arsenal than Giroud has ever been.
If this move does go through, Arsenal must make sure that Chelsea hold up their end of the agreement and loan Batshuayi to Dortmund. Arsenal have shown for a decade that transfer negotiations are not their strength and one can only imagine the protests at the Emirates of Giroud goes to Chelsea and Arsenal finish the window empty handed.
On the flip side, can you imagine Dortmund losing out on £60m for a player they’ve publicly criticised and said they’re willing to sell? This would put them in a weak bargaining position in the summer, and ultimately leave them desperate to sell. Even without a replacement, Dortmund could be strong armed, and Aubamayang could use his troublesome attitude to get this one over the line!