Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has claimed Borussia Dortmund are very close to securing a deal to bring St Etienne forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club with the German club’s representative stating to Kicker, “We are very far in negotiations for Aubameyang.”
With the future of Robert Lewandowski still relatively unclear with Dortmund standing by their decision to straight up refuse to sell their Polish striker to their Bavarian rivals the move to bring Aubameyang to the club suggests a deal to sell Lewandowski may well be in the pipeline with Dortmund showing no real need to add more goals to their side in their performances last season.
Aubameyang was described by Zorc as, “very fast, prolific player” who is, “also versatile so he can adapt to our game.” Aubameyang after a sizably difficult three year spell with AC Milan where the Gabon international struggled to ever really claim a place in the Rossoneri’s first team, spending the majority of his three year stay in Milan on loan with various French clubs including Dijon and AS Monaco. Aubameyang has really exploded onto the European scene in the past two seasons with the forward showing the type of explosive performances on a consistent basis that encouraged AC Milan to sign him as diamond in the rough eighteen year old back in 2007.
Aubameyang during the 2011-2012 campaign registered sixteen goals for St Etienne in Ligue 1 and improved on this by two goals last term which saw him finish the season as Ligue 1’s second highest scorer behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Aubameyang’s significantly impressive performances in the French top flight over the course of past two season’s had previously alerted Newcastle United’s chief scout Graham Carr who was responsible for identifying hugely successful French league imports such as Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko in recent years with the North East club hoping to persuade Aubameyang to join the club however Dortmund’s interest has blown them out of the water.
Borussia Dortmund have reportedly agreed a fee with St Etienne rumoured to be around £13million for the services of Aubameyang with the former AC Milan forward close to agreeing a five year contract with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
So what will Aubameyang add to an already hugely impressive Dortmund side? Well with the future of Lewandowski still undecided with the possibility of a late Bayern Munich bid taking Lewandowski away from Signal Iduna Park not being beyond the realms of possibility, it was important for Dortmund to strengthen their forward line in preparation for the departure of Lewandowski. Aubameyang possesses a great deal of pace as well as good ball control which significantly adds to the Gabon international’s versatility and Dortmund could well utilise Aubameyang either on the wing with Marco Reus moving into the central position just behind the striker or even as a centre forward just behind Lewandowski, should the Polish international stay with the club.
Dortmund’s performance in last season’s European Cup final against Bayern Munich illustrated so clearly the need for Jurgen Klopp to add a wide player to his side with Kevin Grosskreutz showing how he isn’t of the required quality to yet be a regular starter for Klopp’s side. With Reus likely to move into the central attacking midfield position following the loss of Mario Gotze to Bayern then there will be a space on the left hand side of the attacking trident and Aubameyang could fill that position and add a great level of quality to Dortmund’s attacking play. Aubameyang’s pace and willingness to take on and beat a full back will really suit the style of football Dortmund play and will significantly strengthen Dortmund in their bid to reclaim the title from Bayern Munich.
Aubameyang confirmed via his official twitter page yesterday evening that he was travelling for what we expect to be a medical with Borussia Dortmund however there was an air of mischief within the Gabon forward’s tweet, “Aéroport de Barcelone > Destination unknown.” It is expected that Aubameyang will be officially a Dortmund player before the end of the week.
Follow Chris Winterburn on Twitter @Chriswin4