Rumoured Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will definitely stay at Borussia Dortmund this summer, according to sporting director Michael Zorc.
Sky Sports reported that the prolific Gabon international had emerged as a leading candidate to replace outgoing Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge after Antonio Conte was beaten to the signing of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
It was claimed that BVB were willing to allow last season's Bundesliga top scorer to depart the Westfalenstadion for a fee in the region of £70m ($91.2m) after being informed of his desire to leave, amid rival interest from the likes of AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
A proposed big-money move to Tianjin Quanjian did not come to fruition before the Chinese transfer window slammed shut last Friday (14 July).
Addressing those rumours earlier this week, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said that the window for Aubameyang to find a club willing to meet their demands and engage in talks was slowly closing.
And according to Zorc, who was speaking on Tuesday (18 July) after watching the 28-year-old score twice to down big-spending AC Milan in an International Champions Cup clash in Guangzhou, such a deadline has now passed.
"We have decided that 'Auba' will stay with Borussia Dortmund," he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "The transfer window is closed as far as he is concerned."
New manager Peter Bosz added: "I am glad that he is in my team. He is an extraordinary player and he has shown that once more against Milan. He's a great bloke and a great footballer."
Aubameyang joined Dortmund from Saint-Etienne in 2013 and has since scored 120 goals in 189 appearances. Last season he notched 40 times across all competitions and edged Bayern Munich counterpart Robert Lewandowski in the race for the Bundesliga Golden Boot award.
Chelsea will now be expected to push harder for ex-United target Alvaro Morata as a replacement for Costa, although reports from Italy yesterday suggested that Milan were close to agreeing a €70m deal with Real Madrid for the Spaniard. despite suggestions from sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli that the Rossoneri's pursuit had cooled.
Torino frontman Andrea Belotti is also said to be on Conte's radar, while there have been rumours of a rebuffed £88m bid for Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus. It is also understood that Chelsea retain an interest in Sergio Aguero, although Manchester City are highly unlikely to allow him to join a title rival.