Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has quoted €80million as his club’s asking price for their star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The news of the German club’s willingness to sell will be a welcome one for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is said to believe Aubameyang is the perfect striker to fit into his system.
The Gabon international, who is set to return to club football shortly after his nations elimination from the African Cup of Nations, has become a hot target for the elite clubs in the world. While Watzke has said that Dortmund are in no rush to sell the 27-year-old, he acknowleged money talks.
Speaking to Kicker TV, the German said:”We can never guarantee that a player will stay with Borussia Dortmund forever, but our strength is to always find new solutions.
“Auba was our alternative to ‘the world ending’ after [Robert] Lewandowski’s departure [to Bayern Munich]. With an €80million offer, I would be thinking about [club president] Reinhard Rauball and [sporting director] Michael Zorc – if we had one [an offer], we would have to get together with Pierre-Emerick [to discuss it].
“We always have to differentiate between situations where there is such an offer, but we have no pressure. I would prefer it if no offer came.
“[He] is definitely good enough to go to an even bigger club. There are only a few, but I’m glad to read that it’s a good idea to go to Barcelona.”
Arsenal had a reported €80million bid rejected in the summer, according to Italian agent Vincenzo Morabito.
“Sometime ago, I called [Michael] Zorc, Dortmund’s director of football, to talk about Aubameyang, but the ‘no’ was absolutely categorical,” said Morabito last November.
“I know that this summer, Arsenal offered €90 million [£80m] for Aubameyang, but Borussia didn’t want to hear anything about it.”
The change of stance from Dortmund may reignite Arsenal’s interest in the forward, who currently lie 2nd in the Premier League.
Zelalem is out of contract at the end of the season, and the German giants were keen to bring the youngster in on a free transfer.
Wenger, however, has agreed to sanction the loan deal with the Dutch second division side on the premis that he will extend his stay at the North London club.