Arsenal hold Aubameyang talks, await Alexis Sanchez decision - sources
Arsenal have held talks with Borussia Dortmund over signing striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but are waiting for Alexis Sanchez's future to be settled before completing a deal, sources have told ESPN FC.
The Premier League club are confident that a deal can be done with Dortmund after the Gabon international was punished for skipping a team meeting over the weekend.
But Arsenal want Sanchez's situation clarified before launching a formal bid, especially as a deal with Manchester United for the Chilean could see Henrikh Mkhitaryan come the other way, sources said.
Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang formed a formidable partnership at Dortmund -- scoring a combined 62 goals in 2015-16 -- and Arsenal would love to reunite them at the Emirates.
Sanchez has been edging toward a move to United this week, with Manchester City pulling out of the race to sign him, but manager Jose Mourinho said on Monday evening that there's still a chance he stays at Arsenal or goes to another club.
If Arsenal end up without Mkhitaryan in any deal for Sanchez, the club could potentially turn their attention to Bordeaux winger Malcom instead.
A deal for Aubameyang would also depend on Arsenal agreeing a transfer fee with Dortmund, who are reportedly asking for £55 million, but the club are confident that the player himself is willing to move to London.
Arsenal hired Dortmund's former chief scout Sven Mislintat earlier this season, and his good relationship with the club has been seen as crucial in getting the ball rolling.
Signing both Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan would soften the blow of losing Sanchez, but could threaten Alexandre Lacazette's position up front. The club's record signing is without a goal in nine games, and it's unclear how the France international and Aubameyang would fit into the same line-up unless Lacazette is pushed out wide.
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is expected to join Everton this month in a permanent move, while Olivier Giroud could reportedly be offered to Dortmund as part of the deal for Aubameyang.
Meanwhile, Dortmund head coach Peter Stoger has offered Aubameyang an opening to return to the match day squad when they travel to Hertha Berlin on Friday.
Speaking to reporters at Dortmund's training grounds on Monday, Stoger said that, for now, Aubameyang remains a Borussia player.
"He's a BVB player, he's in training. And he has the chance to get back into the team if his attitude is right," Stoger said while Aubameyang put in an extra uphill run shift following the training session.
Bild reported on Tuesday that Dortmund fined Aubameyang €100,000 for his latest suspension.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.