It’s A Possibility – Wenger
Olivier Giroud could be the next big name departure from Arsenal in a player-plus-cash move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsene Wenger refused to rule out Giroud’s exit on the back of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott leaving the Emirates in what is becoming the biggest transfer shake-up of his reign.
Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has asked for Giroud to be part of any deal for Aubameyang and the German club also tried to sign the France star last summer.
Arsenal are set to complete a sensational swap deal for Sanchez with Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way with United ready to make the Chile star the highest paid player in the Premier League. Wenger is also still in the market for West Brom defender Jonny Evans.
When asked whether Giroud could be part of the deal if Aubameyang comes in, Wenger replied: “You started with an ‘if.’ If can be many theories. At the moment I cannot tell you much more.
“I have nothing to add to that. These kind of things, it’s better when it’s secret and when you don’t come out on it, and when you announce it when it’s over the line.”
Giroud, still a week away from fitness after a hamstring injury, was interested in moving to Germany in the summer when Dortmund lined him up to replace Aubameyang but then neither deal happened.
Now it could be back on with Giroud keen to get more game time ahead of the World Cup while Dortmund are ready to sell Aubameyang for £60m after a string of fall-outs which has seen him fined and disciplined for missing team meetings.
Mkhitaryan admits he is a fan of Arsenal.
But Arsenal’s new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat – who was formerly at Dortmund – has vouched for Aubameyang while Wenger insisted that Mkhitaryan will be a good signing despite his problems at Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan has even admitted he is a fan of Arsenal.
Wenger, talking about Aubameyang, said: “Character can be a very positive note and it can be a very negative note. I believe overall you look at the achievements of a player during his career and usually, when a career has been very positive, the character has been used in a positive way.
“We played many times against him (Mkhitaryan) when he was at Dortmund. He certainly appreciated the quality of our game and the way we play football.
That’s why certainly he loves the club as well.”