Arsenal are keen to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January and are ready to make a player plus cash offer as they are unwilling to meet the German club's £60m valuation.
Arsene Wenger has identified the Gabon striker as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who looks certain to leave the Gunners before the end of the January transfer window with Manchester United leading the chase ahead of rivals Manchester City and most recently Chelsea. The French coach is desperate to add more firepower to the squad and believes Aubameyang is the perfect candidate to replace the Chilean.
The Dortmund forward has been linked with a move away from the Westfalenstadion since the summer and it looks like he is edging towards the exit doors with the German club also growing tiresome with his recent discipline issues.
Aubameyang was suspended for Dortmund's recent 0-0 draw against Wolfsburg after he missed a team meeting and it is not the first time that he has been reprimanded in the last 12 months. The Bundesliga outfit's sporting director Michael Zorc has admitted that the relationship between the club and the player is at a breaking point and they will not tolerate his behaviour any further.
"At some point you can't tolerate it [lack of discipline from Aubameyang] anymore," Zorc said, as quoted by Goal.
"I don't know what's going on inside his head. We had a very contentious discussion today. We're not used to this behaviour from him. It can't go on like this," the Dortmund sporting director added.
The German club could be willing to sanction a move for the striker in January if interested clubs meet their valuation. According to the Sun, Arsenal are keen to sign the striker, who despite all his issues has scored 21 goals in 23 appearances across all competitions this summer.
The report claims that the north London club are ready to include Olivier Giroud as part of the deal as they are not ready to pay the £60m Dortmund are demanding. The Germans were interested in the French striker in the summer, and Arsenal are hoping to use that and make an offer of £30m-plus-Giroud to sign Aubameyang.
Giroud is currently side lined by injury, but is expected to return to action in two weeks. The France international wants to stay at Arsenal, but the lack of first-team football has seen him admit that he could leave, and Dortmund are likely to offer him more game time, especially if Aubameyang leaves this month.
Meanwhile, American broadcaster NBC Sports, via German publication Bild, are reporting that Aubameyang has submitted a transfer request in order to complete a transfer during the ongoing winter transfer window. Arsenal, however, are likely to have competition from other clubs if the Gabon striker is made available by the Bundesliga outfit.