Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after making an improved offer as their initial bid was turned down by Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners' CEO Ivan Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and contract negotiator Huss Fahmy are currently in Germany holding talks with the Bundesliga outfit's hierarchy but are yet to make a breakthrough.
Arsene Wenger confirmed on Tuesday (23 January) that Arsenal are in talks to sign the Gabon international striker, but refused to provide an update on the progress of the talks between the two clubs. Aubameyang is seen as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who joined Manchester United in a swap deal that saw midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Emirates Stadium outfit.
Arsenal are said to have made an initial offer of £44m ($61.7m), which was turned down by the Bundesliga club, who are said to be demanding a fee closer to £53m. The Gunners remain confident of bringing Aubameyang to the Premier League during the ongoing January transfer window with reports suggesting that personal terms have already been agreed between the player and the club.
According to the Daily Mail, the north London club have now increased their offer and are said to be willing to pay £50.9m and are also ready to include Olivier Giroud as part of the deal. The report claims that all parties want to conclude the deal at the earliest but are unable to agree on the final fees that will be paid.
Dortmund are keen to bring in a replacement before sanctioning Aubameyang's move to Arsenal and Giroud is said to be their first choice. The Frenchman is also said to be open to the move as he is keen to play regularly in order to keep his place in the France squad for the World Cup this summer.
He has struggled for game time since Alexandre Lacazette arrived last summer, and is certainly going to fall down the pecking order again if Arsenal sign the Gabonese forward. Arsenal are ready to include him as part of the deal, but are yet to reach an agreement with the German outfit, it is likely that the club cwould have to break their transfer record – which was £46.5m for Lacazette in the summer – to land Aubameyang this month.
The potential arrival of Aubameyang will make him Arsenal's third signing in January following the arrival of Mkhitaryan and Konstantinos Mavropanos.