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Arsenal are poised to complete the club-record £60m signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a deal which could trigger a transfer merry-go-round.
The Gunners have reached agreement in principle with Dortmund over the sale of Aubameyang, although his departure is dependent on the Bundesliga outfit securing a replacement frontman.
Their first choice would appear to be Chelsea hitman Michy Batshuayi, who took his goal tally for the season into double figures with a twin strike in the Stamford Bridge club’s FA Cup victory over Newcastle on Sunday.
Blues boss Antonio Conte suggested during his post-match press conference that Batshuayi, a player that has failed to win the confidence of the Italian during his time in west London, could be available for loan.
A deal for Batshuayi to join Dortmund could in turn pave the way for Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud to join London rivals Chelsea for a fee in the region of £30m.
Chelsea have been linked with a multitude of central strikers during the January transfer window, some more surprising than others, but have yet to add competition to Conte’s No1 choice Alvaro Morata.
Their most plausible target was former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, but their pursuit of the Roma targetman has foundered having failed to agree personal terms with the 31-year-old.
Chelsea still remain set to plunder Roma’s stocks, however, and are closing in on a deal to sign left-back Emerson Palmieri for a fee in the region of £17.6m.
The 23-year-old Brazil-born defender, who joined Roma from Santos in December 2016, missed the first three months of the season with a knee injury and has only made two appearances so far this term.
Should Arsenal get the deal for Aubameyang, who has scored 141 goals In four-and-a-half seasons at Dortmund, over the line before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, the Gabon forward will be reunited with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, who joined the Gunners from Manchester United last week in exchange for Alexis Sanchez, joined forces with great effect while at Dortmund and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will hope for a repeat performance.