Arsenal have upped the ante in their bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after increasing their offer to a potential club record of £50million while setting the clock ticking with a 48-hour deal deadline – The Times reports. Borussia Dortmund are said to have dug their heels in, hoping to make £60million from the wantaway Gabonese forward, 28. Even at £10million less than the asking price a deal would surpass the reported £44m the Gunners paid Lyon for Alexandre Lacazette in July. Meanwhile Aubameyang sent Arsenal fans into a spin with a tweet on Tuesday that was perceived to hint at a deal. Along with a waving emoji the post was signed off “xxxxxxL” – suspected by some to say Arsenal with most of the letters removed. The Daily Mail says Gunners forward Olivier Giroud, 31, has also been part of the negotiations as part of a potential player swap.
According to the Daily Telegraph Arsenal are now frontrunners to snatch West Brom skipper Jonny Evans, 30, after Manchester City grew disinterested. The Gunners are seeking a deal of around £20million, which would swell the total spent on talent in the window to £70million if Aubameyang ends up at the Emirates. Albion are said to be keen to raise funds so new boss Alan Pardew can bolster the side’s attacking capability before the transfer window ends.
Manchester City are said to have their sights on Aymeric Laporte, the Daily Mirror reports. To land the Athletic Bilbao defender they may have to cough up £57million to satisfy a buyout clause, however, the newspapers says. The French 23-year-old was expected to move to the Etihad in 2016, although he reportedly pulled out the deal.
Now Jose Mourinho has bagged Alexis Sanchez he is considering Manchester United’s next acquisition – with three names coming to the surface, according to The Independent. Nice’s Ivory Coast midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, 26, is said to be the United boss’ top pick, while Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian playmaker Fred, 24, is also a candidate. Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, 29, completes the trio, although the German World Cup winner is reported to be after more than £300,000-a-week wherever he moves to once his contract expires this summer.
Further talks have taken place between West Ham and Inter Milan over midfielder Joao Mario, the Daily Mail reports, as the Irons look for emergency replacements for injured Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini. Inter are reportedly demanding a loan fee and obligation to buy at the end of the loan, while West Ham will also have to pay the 25-year-old’s wages in full.
Players to watch
Leon Bailey: The Bayer Leverkusen winger, 20, has been noticed by Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, the Daily Mirror reports.
Roque Mesa: Swansea have played down reports the midfielder, 28, wants to return to Spain and join Sevilla.
Javier Hernandez: West Ham’s Mexico international, 29, is open to leaving the club, despite manager David Moyes saying the opposite, ESPN reports.