Arsenal remain hopeful of wrapping up a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Arsene Wenger reportedly making plans to include him in his team for their next game against Swansea City.
Talks continue between the two clubs with Arsenal said to have now made two offers for the Gabon international, the latest worth £50.9m. Wednesday's edition of Bild however report Dortmund are still holding out for a £52m fee plus the services of Olivier Giroud, who has been part of the negotiations from an early stage.
While Giroud offers something different to Aubameyang up front, Bild go onto explain how Dortmund see the benefits in bringing in a more traditional target man to lead the line with his back to goal, who can also combine with Dortmund's plethora of attacking options in Mario Gotze, Christian Pulisic, Marco Reus and Andriy Yarmolenko.
With Dortmund already planning for life with the France international, the publication adds Arsenal are doing likewise regarding Aubameyang, suggesting Wenger plans to include the 28-year-old in his side when the Gunners travel to Swansea on 30 January – the day before the winter transfer window closes.
While Arsenal are said to be confident of wrapping up the deal, Wenger has publicly remained coy on the striker's possible arrival. "The best is I don't talk about that because it wouldn't help," Wenger said following his side's 2-1 win over Chelsea which booked a place in the Carabao Cup final.
"I think if something happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, then we are strong enough to focus on the players we have and focus on the job with the players we have. I am perfectly happy with the players I have. We got Mkhitaryan in and I have a strong squad."
Elsewhere at Arsenal, the club have confirmed a new loan move for 19-year-old Nigerian talent Kelechi Nwakali. Nwakaki, who signed for the Gunners after winning the Golden Ball award the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, spent the first half of the season on loan at Eredivisie side VVV Venlo but after managing just 480 minutes of first-team football, that deal was cancelled this week.
Arsenal have now confirmed another loan for the youngster, returning to Netherlands to join MVV Maastricht in the second-tier of Dutch football, where he had a promising spell last season, making 30 appearances.