Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has calmed speculation over a move to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and said a deal is "nowhere near" completion despite reports an offer has been made.
The Gunners defeated Crystal Palace 4-1 on Saturday, and Wenger said after the result that there has been no progress in the move for Aubameyang, who has been left out of Dortmund's last two Bundesliga squads:
“No, nothing is happening. He can be left out of the Dortmund team for different reasons. Certainly not for transfer reasons at the moment.
“We are nowhere near anything with Dortmund. They are responsible for their own statements. I cannot stand up for what they say. If we sign somebody, we'll announce it. I half-announced Sanchez against Mkhitaryan, because that's likely to happen. All the rest: we are not close at all to anything.”
Talk of a deal for Aubameyang has intensified around the same time that Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez's proposed move to join Manchester United appears to be entering its final phases.
It's likely Arsenal will look to concentrate on finalising that deal before moving their attention elsewhere, and BBC Sport's David Ornstein delivered a major update in that transfer on Saturday:
David Ornstein @bbcsport_david
EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan agrees move to Arsenal in a deal that will see Gunners forward Alexis Sanchez go opposite way. It’s a straight swap, no money involved. Paperwork complete, Mkhitaryan will undergo a medical over the next 2 days #MUFC #AFC
Aubameyang was recently suspended by the Black and Yellows for disciplinary reasons after German newspaper Bild reported the Gabon international had missed a team meeting (h/t ESPN FC's Stefan Buczko).
The forward was again absent from Dortmund's lineup as they drew 1-1 against Hertha Berlin on Friday, although Bundesliga reporter Archie Rhind-Tutt showed that appeared to be less contentious:
MailOnline's Simon Jones reported Dortmund have already rejected an offer for their striker worth £40 million and are seeking "at least £53 million" to part ways with their man.
BBC Sport commentator Jonathan Pearce recently delivered an update on the goings-on at the Emirates Stadium, with a busy end to the January transfer window expected for the club:
Aubameyang's own signs are indicative of a person who would likely leave his current setting as things stand, having missed Dortmund's last two league games without any sort of public explanation.
Arsenal already broke their club transfer record to recruit £52 million striker Alexandre Lacazette, and already the north Londoners appear ready to splash heavily to add another elite option in that area.
Although Wenger has hinted at there being no progress made for Aubameyang, a return offer for the seemingly wantaway forward could change that in the coming days.