Arsene Wenger is convinced Arsenal can cope without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if they are unable to secure the striker from Borussia Dortmund.
A delegation of senior Arsenal officials led by chief executive Ivan Gazidis travelled to Germany over the weekend in a bid to secure Aubameyang’s signature, though as it stands there has been no bid accepted by Dortmund.
Though there is cause for optimism that a deal will be completed – Arsenal can meet the selling club’s and player’s demands, Dortmund are keen to move the striker on and Aubameyang is willing to join – Wenger is convinced that should the move fall apart his side will be able to cope.
“The best is I don’t talk about that because it wouldn’t help,” the Arsenal manager said, alluding to the furious reaction from Dortmund last week after general comments he made about the importance of a player’s character were taken to be directed at Aubameyang.
“If something happens it happens. If it doesn’t we are strong enough to focus on the players we have and to focus on the job with the players we have.
“I’m perfectly happy with the players I have, we got [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan in. We have a strong squad.”
Wenger was asked if those comments also applied to their pursuit of West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans, to which he replied: “Look if we sign somebody we’ll tell you very quickly, but at the moment we are open to strengthen the team and squad but not close to signing anybody.”
A sticking point in Arsenal’s pursuit of Aubameyang has proven to be the future of Olivier Giroud, who Dortmund want on loan as part of the deal but Wenger has said he is reluctant to lose.