Arsene Wenger appears to have publicly confirmed that Arsenal are indeed in talks with Borussia Dortmund over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, though the wantaway striker is clearly not their sole target for the remaining portion of the January transfer window.
The Gunners, who finally sealed the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan on Monday evening (22 January) in a rare straight-swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United, are known to be targeting Aubameyang as a replacement for the departed Chilean. The club dispatched a transfer delegation consisting of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and contract negotiator Huss Fahmy to Germany over the weekend with hopes of wrapping up a deal.
According to the latest reports from the Mail, Arsenal saw an opening £43m ($59.9m) bid rejected as Dortmund hold out for £53m and remain adamant that they must secure a replacement before allowing the prolific Gabon international to leave.
"Confident or not confident [of getting a deal over the line], I don't know," Wenger, who was chastised by BVB sporting director Michael Zorc for discussing Aubameyang last week, told reporters at a press conference held before the Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg tie against Chelsea.
"At the moment we are not close to doing any deals, with Aubameyang or anybody else."
Asked if Olivier Giroud could head to Dortmund as part of the deal, he added: "The negotiations are not as far as that.
"You never know how close you are. At the moment it's one of the possible movements, but we have other things in mind as well. We have plenty of opportunities in different positions. The final decision is not made."
On any other business amid links to the likes of Bordeaux's Malcom, Paris Saint-Germain outcast Lucas Moura and Mainz defender Abdou Diallo, Wenger reiterated that further incomings and outgoings were possible.
"It depends on the opportunities we have," he said. "We can buy players, we are busy on all fronts. We are open minded. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad we will take.
"If people want to buy our players we have to examine that. Players who have less chances to play we have done it. They deserve to play because they are great players who have left us. After that we will see at the end. A lot will happen in the last week in the transfer market, as usual."
No Welbeck exit
Danny Welbeck has been another name mentioned in transfer dispatches over recent weeks, with Besiktas said to have lodged an official inquiry as the Turkish champions look to fill the void created by Cenk Tosun's £27m sale to Everton.
However, Wenger confirmed that he was not seeking to offload the injury-prone forward - currently sidelined by a muscular issue along with Giroud - this month.
"I want Danny to stay here," he said, per football.london.