Chelsea’s long search for a striker this month could finally be set to end before Wednesday night’s transfer deadline.
The Blues have been linked with a myriad strikers in January, including the likes of Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes and Islam Slimani, but are closing in on the signing of Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud.
Gianluca Di Marzio had claimed on Tuesday morning that a £15m fee had been agreed between Arsenal and Chelsea for the French international’s services, and while that now looks to have been slightly premature, reports in England are now claiming that a deal to take Giroud across London is very much in the pipeline.
— David Hytner (@DaveHytner) January 30, 2018
However, BBC Sport’s David Ornstein has added a twist to proceedings, which would serve to heighten the drama if it is not resolved soon. Chelsea are aiming to lower Arsenal’s asking price from the agreed fee in order to cut a better deal for themselves.
Arsenal, understandably, are unhappy that Chelsea are shifting the goalposts in this manner, and have threatened to walk away from the deal and offer Giroud to Dortmund as part of the Aubameyang deal.
LATEST: Aubameyang medical pencilled for Wed AM. Earlier today all set for Batshuayi loan to Dortmund, Giroud to Chelsea for £20m. But #CFC via Marina Granovskaia now trying to drive price down so #AFC minded to end talks & send Giroud to #BVB – though unclear if he’d agree to it pic.twitter.com/R9jAnVdk0f
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) January 30, 2018
This would seriously impact Chelsea’s plans to offload Michy Batshuayi, with the Belgian all set to move to Dortmund as Aubameyang’s replacement. It could come down to whoever blinks first, and Chelsea’s desperation to land a striker on Wednesday makes them the more likely to do so.
With Aubameyang due to complete a medical at Arsenal on Wednesday morning, it could be a case of everything for the transfer to proceed being complete except for that all-important signature. Should Giroud agree to move to the Bundesliga ahead of his previously preferred choice of Stamford Bridge, however, then Chelsea face being completly frozen out of the deal.