Olivier Giroud on Arsenal duty as Gunners prepare for deadline-day deals
The Gunners are trying to get a deal done for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Olivier Giroud was named on the Arsenal bench at Swansea on Tuesday night despite reports suggesting the France striker has agreed an £18million move to Chelsea.
Giroud’s future appeared increasingly likely to lie away from Arsenal after reports that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had arrived at the club’s London Colney training ground on Tuesday afternoon to finalise his transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea, who declined to comment, appear favourites to complete a cross-London move for Giroud on Wednesday ahead of the transfer deadline, with their Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi possibly heading to Borussia to complete the triangle.
Arsenal’s move for Aubameyang is expected to go down to the wire as the Gunners wait on Dortmund landing a replacement before allowing the striker to leave.
Press Association Sport understands a deal has been agreed in principle between the two clubs, but that it is subject to Dortmund bringing in their own forward.
Arsenal have until 11pm on Wednesday to get the transfer over the line and it could be touch and go given all of the factors and logistics at play.
Reports have suggested the Premier League club will break their transfer record for the second time in just over six months following the arrival of France striker Alexandre Lacazette last summer.
Any move for Aubameyang is now dependent on Dortmund signing their own forward, with the Bundesliga transfer window open until February 2.
They had been strongly linked with a move for Giroud but Chelsea’s interest in the 31-year-old, who turned down a summer move to Everton to fight for his place at the Emirates Stadium, had muddied the waters.
Since then he has started just one Premier League game and is now more open to a move – especially in a World Cup year.
Arsenal’s stance on Giroud is similar to Dortmund’s with Aubameyang, with manager Arsene Wenger saying on Friday that “if nobody comes in, nobody goes out.”.
With Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott already sold and Alexis Sanchez allowed to leave for Manchester United in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, it is clear why Wenger is reluctant to allow more talent to leave without first recruiting.
It is understood there has been no prospect raised of an exchange between Chelsea and Arsenal despite some reports that David Luiz could be offered for Giroud.
Blues striker Batshuayi has scored 10 goals this season but still seems to be unfancied by manager Antonio Conte, who has been linked with a whole host of attacking players throughout the January window.
Mkhitaryan was also named among the Arsenal substitutes at Swansea as the Armenian waited for his Gunners debut.