Arsenal’s lead candidate to replace Alexis Sanchez, Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has agreed personal terms with Gunners chiefs - leaving it to their Bundesliga club counterparts to finalise a deal, the Daily Mirror reports.
The Gabonese international is reportedly intent on the deal going through after he was dropped from Dortmund’s Wolfsburg clash for missing a team meeting, his third internal suspension in 12 months.
Sanchez’s highly anticipated move to Manchester United either lies in the hands of Henrikh Mkhitaryan or the Arsenal money men, according to reports.
Expectations that the wantaway Arsenal forward was on the verge of moving to Old Trafford as part of a cash-plus-player swap appeared to have been somewhat set back, after agent Mino Raiola publicly warned that Mkhitaryan will only leave United on the player’s terms.
Arsenal fans if they sell Walcott & Alexis Sanchez + buy Mkhitaryan & Aubameyang pic.twitter.com/wEL5RUHEEi— Temps 🥴 (@AdamTemps) January 16, 2018
Aubameyang’s recent behaviour has been met with bafflement by his Borussia Dortmund bosses.
The striker was dropped for last weekend’s Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg for skipping a key team meeting. It was the second time this season he has been banned by his club for "disciplinary reasons".
The 28-year-old is a reported target for Arsenal as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who is expected to depart the Emirates this month.
Best thing about Aubameyang, he already hates Spurs. Get it done!!! 😂 https://t.co/9piUOEd4Hu— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 17, 2018
"Disappointment is the wrong expression," Dortmund coach Peter Stoger said in an interview with Sport Bild when asked about his feelings toward the Gabon international.
"Rather a lack of understanding as I cannot really comprehend his conduct. And I am certainly not the only one."
Aubameyang is reportedly desperate for a move to Arsenal, whose new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat knows the player from his time at Dortmund.
Aubameyang as a replacement for Alexis.... Aubameyang is 10x the player Alexis is now at this current time! And potentially getting miki aswell...yes please😍👌🏻 batman and robin about to tear up the pl!— Bradley Johnson (@finesseofozil) January 16, 2018
But Stoger, who said he banned Aubameyang because in his view fines have no effect, says the striker is far from certain to leave.
Asked if he thought Aubameyang would stay at Dortmund this winter, he said: "I assume so."
Mkhitaryan and Ozil behind Lacazette and Aubameyang.
PL defences right now... pic.twitter.com/Z5g0ZBlWId— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) January 17, 2018
Despite his actions off the field, Aubameyang is hot property, having scored 31 Bundesliga goals last season and 13 in 15 games so far this term.