Alexis Sanchez may not be the only player to depart Arsenal for a top-six rival this month, with reports suggesting that the club will allow striker Olivier Giroud to join Chelsea before Wednesday's (31 January) transfer deadline.
According to the Mail, Borussia Dortmund are looking at Chelsea back-up Michy Batshuayi as they seek to secure a swift replacement for Arsenal-bound Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, two moves that would appear to leave Giroud in limbo with the French international having previously been heavily mentioned as an ideal short-term option for BVB.
The publication suggests that the Gunners, who completed a high-profile swap deal with Manchester United last week that saw Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan change clubs, will let their target man make the move to Chelsea - if they meet a somewhat lofty £35m ($49.2m) asking price for a player who already lives in London and is not cup-tied for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Antonio Conte's desire to add a physical striker to his squad has been well-documented, with the likes of Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes and Islam Slimani all linked switches to Stamford Bridge before Edin Dzeko emerged as the obvious number one target.
Chelsea have been trying to tie up a £57.2m double deal for the former Manchester City frontman and AS Roma teammate Emerson Palmieri, the latter of whom is already said to have agreed a four-a-and-a-half-year contract worth £80,000-a-week, but there has yet to be any real breakthrough in protracted negotiations regarding the former.
Giallorossi CEO Umberto Gandini claimed following Sunday's (28 January) Serie A loss to Sampdoria that Roma were still "talking and evaluating" offers for Dzeko, but insisted that "it takes three parties to reach an agreement and at times also with those who are around the player".
A lack of progress with regards to that particular pursuit with the clock ticking down towards the deadline seems likely to result in Chelsea, who may not allow Batshuayi to depart even if they do succeed in adding another striker this week, switching their focus elsewhere, with Giroud thought to be top of their list of alternatives.
The 31-year-old, who was linked with a move away from Arsenal throughout the majority of the summer window, has started just one solitary Premier League match to date in 2017-18 after being pushed further down Arsene Wenger's attacking pecking order by the arrival of compatriot Alexandre Lacazette.
Wenger stated during a press conference on Friday [27 January] that he - and indeed everybody else at Arsenal - wanted Giroud to stay, citing his impact from the substitutes' bench and performances in the Europa League as a big plus in addition to his influence around the training ground.
"He will certainly get more games and can only leave if someone else comes in," the manager said.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Mail report that the top-four hopefuls do not want to allow Rob Holding to exit after Burnley reportedly enquired over the weekend as to the possibility of taking the young centre-back on loan for the remainder of the season.