According to various reports, Arsenal could be set to launch a double swoop for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Girondins Bordeaux’s Malcom, as Alexis Sanchez nears the Emirates exits.
The Gunners are believed to have eyed a move for 20-year-old Malcom throughout the month of January, but with Alexis’ move to rivals Manchester United thought to be imminent, Arsène Wenger is now also ready to add Aubameyang to his winter shopping list.
Dortmund’s misfit, who has seen his name flirt with big-money moves before, was last night left out of his club’s 0-0 draw to Wolfsburg due to “disciplinary reasons”, as stated by the Bundesliga club’s boss, Peter Stöger.
Such run-ins were also present in Thomas Tuchel’s time at the club and stretch to the most recent reign of Peter Bosz in Dortmund, with the Germans reported to be ready to finally pull the plug on Aubameyang’s chapter at the club.
According to Sky Sports’ resident La Liga expert, Guillem Balague, Arsenal are “optimistic” that they can counter the loss of Sanchez with a €60 million (£53 million) deal for the want-away Gabonese forward, who was also linked to the Gunners earlier this month by Sky Italia.
“Arsenal have a few signings they want to confirm in the next few days,” Balague said, with Aubameyang being one of them.
“They are willing to pay 60 million euros, so they hope Dortmund accepts and are very optimistic that this could be the case. There are other clubs interested. Arsenal are ahead of them, but nothing has been finalised yet.”
Also within the North Londoners’ eye-sight is Malcom, who could cost the Emirates outfit up to £45 million from Bordeaux.
The Brazilian right winger’s seven goals and six assists in France this season has alerted the interest of numerous clubs, particularly Arsenal, who appear willing to fork the cash out for the ex-Corinthians man.
As per various outlets, including the Evening Standard, Malcom’s representatives were in London late last week to hold talks with the Gunners, as Wenger remained coy on Sanchez’s widely-tipped replacement.
Bordeaux’s owner, Nicolas de Tavernost, told today’s edition of L’Équipe that Malcom wouldn’t leave this month, as the Ligue 1 outfit await an official bid for their player, but comments from the club’s manager have begun to fall out of line with the Ligue 1 outfit’s bold stance.
Jocelyn Gourvennec had recently been quoted as saying that he cannot see Malcom departing, but recent comments see him declaring that “if he leaves, he will be replaced,” as he takes the transfer window “day-by-day”.
Should Arsenal land Malcom, they’ll have to silence the interest coming from Bayern Munich and local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, as United switch their attentions to Sanchez.
Yesterday afternoon, Wenger had already admitted that a decision would be made official regarding Sanchez’s future within the next 48 hours, after the Chilean missed Arsenal’s trip to Bournemouth.
The Gunners are thought to be holding out for a £35 million bid, as well as exploring the option of receiving players as part of the deal, with United out in front to sign the contract rebel.
Sanchez had been heavily linked to Manchester City in the lead-up to 2018, but United’s willingness to reach Arsenal’s valuation, on top of offering the forward a salary north of £300,000-a-week, has swayed the deal.
According to the Independent, that deal could be concluded as early as today, with Arsenal looking to crack on with their own targets over the coming days.
By Patrick Ribeiro