Arsenal signs Aubameyang, City ups bid for Leicester's Mahrez

AFP
The Gabon striker signed a contract until 2021, becoming the Gunners' second big-name signing of the January transfer window after Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined from Manchester United.
AFP
Reuters

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action against SC Freiburg during their German Bundesliga match at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund on January 27, 2018. The Gabon international signed a deal with Arsenal on January 31, 2018.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record fee of around 56 million pounds (US$79.53 million) on Wednesday as Manchester City upped its bid to sign Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez in the final hours of the transfer window.

The 28-year-old Gabon striker signed a contract with Arsenal until 2021, becoming the Gunners' second big-name signing of the January transfer window after Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined from Manchester United.

The signing will boost Arsene Wenger's forward options after the departure of Alexis Sanchez to United in a swap deal with Mkhitaryan but raises questions about Alexandre Lacazette's future in the first team.

"Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has joined us from Borussia Dortmund on a long-term contract for a club-record fee," Arsenal said in a statement on its website, describing him as one of the world's most highly rated strikers.

"This deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes and Auba's squad number will be confirmed shortly," it added.

Aubameyang compared himself to club legend Thierry Henry.

"I think the club has such a big history and great players like Thierry Henry," Aubameyang told the club website shortly after putting pen to paper on his contract. "He's an example for us strikers."

"I'm a fast player and I score goals, too, like Henry a little bit," added Aubameyang. "But as I said, I have to work a lot more."

Aubameyang's arrival will likely see the departure of French forward Olivier Giroud after six years at Arsenal, with Chelsea the likely destination. London's Evening Standard reported that he would soon be unveiled after signing a deal at Stamford Bridge.

In a complicated game of musical chairs, the BBC reported that Dortmund had agreed a deal to sign out-of-favor Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi on loan for the rest of the season, subject to a medical.

Pep Guardiola's City is understood to have upped its bid for Mahrez, who won the English Premier League with Leicester in 2015-16 with a cash-plus-player offer worth up to 65 million pounds, according to Sky Sports.

City has lost influential Germany winger Leroy Sane for at least six weeks with an ankle injury and with the club competing on four fronts Guardiola suggested he may need reinforcements.

"Right now, it's the same as (Alexis) Sanchez, it's not the place to talk about it. It's so difficult," Guardiola said on Tuesday when asked about Mahrez.

"If things are not possible, then nothing is going to happen. We don't have too much and we play every three days. We have to find solutions."

City paid a club-record record fee of 57 million pounds for young French center-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, whose deal was confirmed on Tuesday.

Tottenham Hotspur is apparently closing on the signing of Brazilian Lucas Moura, who has fallen out of favor at French giants Paris Saint-Germain after the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Swansea City, whose win against Arsenal on Tuesday saw it move out of the EPL's bottom three, reportedly want to bring Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew back to Wales from West Ham United.

The Swans are hoping to sign the 28-year-old for around 18-20 million pounds, according to the Evening Standard.


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