Arsenal's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has hit a stumbling block with the German club unhappy with the north London club's initial offers.
The Gunners started off with a bid in the region of £44m ($62.3m) which was straight away rejected by the Bundesliga outfit, the Premier League club then increased their offer to £50.9m, which was also rejected by Dortmund.
Olivier Giroud was expected to be part of the deal that saw Aubameyang arrive at the Emirates Stadium, but a proposed player-plus-cash deal is also said to have fallen through. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal will have to increase their offer to at least £56m to have a chance of securing the Gabon international forward.
The report claims that the German club are unhappy with the London club making numerous offers below their valuation. Giroud is said to be assessing other options with a move to Dortmund looking unlikely.
Aubameyang is said to be keen to move to the Emirates Stadium in January and it is believed that he has already agreed to terms with the Gunners over a £170,000-a-week three and a half year deal. The striker's desire to complete the move is allowing Arsenal's to remain confident about completing a deal, but it is unlikely to happen if they do not match the German club's valuation.
Dortmund manager Peter Stoger has confirmed that Aubameyang will be in the squad when they take on Freiburg on Saturday and revealed that he could even play if there is no movement in the negotiations between the two clubs and he is focused on helping the team.
Giroud was expected to play an important role in the negotiations, but Sky Sports are reporting that Arsenal are not interested in sending him the other way as part of the deal to sign Aubameyang. It remains to be seen if the north London outfit will meet Dortmund's valuation in order to bring Aubameyang to the Emirates before the 23:00 GMT transfer deadline on 31 January.
The Bundesliga side were expected to sign the French striker on loan with an option to make it permanent at the end of the season, but a lack of agreement on the transfer fee for Aubameyang and Dortmund's poor offer in terms of a loan fee for Giroud is seeing the potential move break down.
Aubameyang's potential arrival will make him Arsenal's third acquisition of the winter following the arrivals of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United and Konstantinos Mavropanos from PAS Giannina.
Meanwhile, according to the Mirror, Chelsea have identified Giroud as an alternative if they fail to sign AS Roma forward Edin Dzeko. They are said to be in advanced talks to sign the Bosnian from the Serie A outfit but are keeping their options open in case the move fails to materialise in the coming days.