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Arsenal have had a club record £55.4 million (63 million euros) offer agreed by Borussia Dortmund for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who also stands to become the highest paid player in the club’s history.
After a week of negotiations, Arsenal have increased from an initial £44 million (55 million euros) bid to meet Dortmund’s asking price but the Bundesliga club still want to source a replacement before signing off and announcing the deal.
Olivier Giroud is among the options for Dortmund and separate talks are now ongoing with Arsenal today about a deal for the France striker. Arsenal are open to both a loan or a permanent transfer and there is also interest in Giroud from Chelsea.
With Arsenal also selling Theo Walcott and Giroud now likely to leave, Arsene Wenger wanted only a player who would immediately improve his starting team and Aubameyang has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in any European league.
He has scored 141 goals in four-and-a-half seasons for Dortmund. Arsenal sent a delegation headed by chief executive Ivan Gazidis that also included new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and contract negotiator Huss Fahmy to Dortmund for negotiations last week.
Mislintat was also instrumental in bringing both Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan to Dortmund and the signings will be interpreted as an immediate sign of his impact and influence.
Arsenal have also been interested in defender Jonny Evans, but a deal is now more likely in the summer when his contract will have only one year remaining and West Brom will have to lower the current £20 million asking price. The Aubameyang and Evans deals are not both considered financially sensible this month. Arsenal are also still trying to persuade both Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere to extend contracts that expire this summer.