Arsenal can sign Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – if manager Arsene Wenger forks out a club record £55million.
The Bundesliga side’s chief executive Hans Joachim Watzke confirmed that they have rejected the Gunners’ opening offer of £45m for the 28-year-old.
“I can confirm that there has been a first request from Arsenal for Aubameyang,” said Watzke.
Arsenal are now set to make a second bid for Aubameyang, who was left out by Dortmund for their 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin on Friday night.
He has been targeted by Arsene Wenger to replace Alexis Sanchez, who is bound for Manchester United.
And Express Sport understands that Arsenal’s next offer will come close to matching Dortmund’s asking price in a hope of pushing the deal through.
It will surpass the £46.5m paid to Lyon forl Alexandre Lacazette to in the summer.
Once a deal for Aubameyang is completed, Wenger will step up his attempts to land WBA central defender Johnny Evans.
Aubameyang is under contract at Signal Iduna Park until 2021.
The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who is expected to move to Manchester United.
Aubameyang was the Bundesliga’s leading goalscorer last season, finishing the campaign with 31 goals and has hit 13 in 15 games this term.
He has been suspended twice by Dortmund this season for disciplinary reasons and sporting director Michael Zorc revealed last week he was not focused enough to play.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was accused of being “disrespectful” by Zorc when he spoke about the links with Aubameyang last week.