Borussia Dortmund have revealed they would “discuss” any offers that arrive for star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but they are confident he won't leave the club during the January transfer window.
Speaking to Sky (h/t London Evening Standard's Vaishali Bhardwaj), chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke made it clear Die Schwarzgelben want to keep their top scorer at the club as long as possible―but big-money offers will be considered:
If an offer comes, then we need to discuss it.
If it should go into the hundreds of millions, then we also need to talk to the player.
But I'm not worrying about it because at the moment we want to keep him as long as possible, ideally beyond 2020.
The 26-year-old has already scored 20 goals in the Bundesliga this season and has been linked with moves to Premier League giants Arsenal and Champions League holders Barcelona, per the report.
The African Footballer of the Year has carried the team at times this season, which explains why Dortmund are eager to keep hold of him for as long as possible. His brace against Ingolstadt on Saturday was another example of just how important he is to the side, per Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney:
Dortmund so lucky to beat Ingolstadt - Horrible refereeing all around. Only positives for BVB are Aubameyang (a phenomenon) & Pulisic— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) January 31, 2016
While Barcelona have plenty of attacking firepower and no real need for a player such as Aubameyang, Arsenal represent a great destination for the Gabon international. Manager Arsene Wenger has always been a fan of athletic forwards who can do damage on the counter-attack, and there are few better at that aspect of the game than Aubameyang.
Olivier Giroud remains the Gunners' top attacking option, and while the France international is a solid player in his own right, he's not the world-class option Aubameyang is. The latter is versatile enough to play out wide or as a second striker as well, so the two could even grace the field together for Arsenal.
Here's a look at some of Aubameyang's highlights:
It's rare for a player of Aubameyang's calibre to move clubs during the January transfer window, however, unless he doesn't play a starring role for his team. A deadline day move looks highly unlikely, and interested suitors will have to turn their attention to summer.
Arsene Wenger Rules Out Permanent Mathieu Debuchy Move
Full-back Mathieu Debuchy could still leave the Gunners on the final day of the January transfer window, but the Frenchman won't be going anywhere on a permanent basis. According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Wenger hopes he can send him to another Premier League club on a loan deal:
Wenger says if Debuchy goes then it'll be a loan and to the Premier a League. "It's impossible to do permanent deal now."— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) February 1, 2016
The 30-year-old has started just a handful of matches because of the emergence of Hector Bellerin and is in real danger of losing his spot in France's Euro 2016 squad, explaining why he's so keen to leave the club.
Should Wenger allow Debuchy to leave the club on loan?
Debuchy only joined the Gunners from Newcastle United in 2014, but a series of injuries during his first season opened the door for Bellerin to pass him in the pecking order. The Spaniard has since established himself as one of the top young right-backs in Europe, effectively ending Debuchy's chances of becoming a starter again.
He could still be a valuable depth option but is desperate to play, and it seems Wenger wants to grant the veteran the opportunity to do so elsewhere.
Time is running out, however, and a solution is becoming less likely by the minute. While there's little doubt there will be a host of clubs interested in Debuchy's services, it could be difficult to make a deal on the final day of the transfer window, as most teams have already finalised their squads for the second half of the season.