Arsenal are growing increasingly confident of signing Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this month with both players agreeing personal terms with the club, Goal understands.
Arsene Wenger is looking to soften the blow of losing Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United by bringing in what he sees as two world class attacking players and talks with Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola have finally seen a breakthrough after Arsenal agreed a healthy financial package to make the Armenian one of the club’s highest paid players.
Sanchez was forced to train with the club’s development team on Thursday as his move to United was deemed imminent by Wenger. The transfer will have to be completed by Friday 12pm GMT in order for the 28-year-old to be available for Saturday’s league match away to Burnley.
The deal for Mkhitaryan will see Sanchez go the other way and become one of the Premier League’s highest paid players with an eye-watering £14m-a-year contract, while his agent Fernando Felicevich is expected to receive a fee in excess of £10m for facilitating the deal. Felicevich previously had a gentleman’s agreement in place with Manchester City for a January transfer but United swooped in last week after offering improved financial terms.
Wenger remains a long-term admirer of former Borussia Dortmund star Mkhitaryan and tried to sign him before he joined Manchester United in the summer of 2016.
The 28-year-old, who fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho at United, speaks six languages, has a diploma from the Institute of Physical Culture in Armenia and studied economics at the St Petersburg Institute.
Arsenal’s new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who arrived from Dortmund in November, has played an integral part in the Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan transfers and has referenced his experience spent working with them at Westfalenstadion as reason to pursue both players in the January transfer window.
While talks continue over extending Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere’s contracts, both signings are seen as a sign of the club’s ambition to take Arsenal to the next level, with further playing staff additions set to happen this summer.