Gunners dealt a crushing blow

LONDON. — Arsenal have been dealt a crushing blow in their pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The 26-year-old has been in electric form for Borussia Dortmund and this has not gone unnoticed with Manchester United and Liverpool also tracking his progress.

Recent reports have suggested that Arsenal stepped up their interest by lodging a £44,7 million bid.

But Aubameyang, who scooped the African Player of the Year award on Thursday night, poured cold water on the rumours.

He said: “I don’t want to go to Arsenal. I won’t leave Dortmund soon.”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has admitted Arsenal’s deal for Mohamed Elneny is “complicated”, but says it should be completed within a matter of days.

The Gunners have agreed a fee of around £5 million for Basel’s Egyptian midfielder and are now finalising the minor details of the transfer.

Elneny’s move was expected to have been completed by now, and while Wenger insisted not everything had been agreed upon, a confirmation is just days away.

“It’s complicated a little bit, but we work hard on it,” said Wenger. “I hope in the next two to three days we get to the end of it.”

The Frenchman also revealed that Elneny might not be the only signing he makes in January.

Arsenal’s midfield has been badly hit by injuries this season and Wenger is not adverse to bringing in new faces if the right players are available.

“The only (signing)? I don’t rule out anybody else. He (Elneny) will at least be one of the signings and comes into an area where we are short at the moment.”

And the Frenchman also revealed Mathieu Debuchy could be allowed to leave on loan, adding: “He has an opportunity to go but he as well has not been in touch with any club.”

Wenger has, meanwhile, denied suggestions Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could join Chelsea.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 24 appearances for Arsenal this season, but has not been a regular starter for Wenger.

The England international has seen injuries hamper his form while Wenger feels he needs more confidence.

The Sun report Chelsea are keeping tabs on Oxlade-Chamberlain as a long-term replacement for Eden Hazard, who is wanted by Real Madrid and Manchester United.

But Wenger has scoffed at the chance of the 22-year-old heading to Stamford Bridge.

When asked whether the speculation about Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea was rubbish, Wenger replied: “Yes.”

He also said the same thing when asked about Arsenal’s interest in Watford striker Troy Deeney.

Reports have claimed Deeney is on Wenger’s radar with a £20 million January bid being considered.

The Hornets captain admitted he was flattered by interest from Arsenal, but conceded a move to the Emirates was unlikely.

“It is very flattering,” Deeney said. “My son is an Arsenal fan so he read it in the paper the other day and I don’t think he is happy that I am staying at Watford.

“He doesn’t understand that it is not FIFA and you can’t change the same day!”

Arsenal have also reportedly started contract talks with Joel Campbell.

Campbell (23) put pen-to-paper on a new deal last year, but the Gunners are prepared to hand him fresh terms following his first-team breakthrough.

And Emirates bosses will put a £60 000-a-week offer on the table, according to Football Insider.

Campbell joined Arsenal from Saprissa in 2011, but spent time on loan at four clubs before establishing himself in north London.

He has taken his chance on the wing with both hands due to the Gunners’ recent injury problems.

Wenger hailed the Costa Rica international following his impressive performance in the vital 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos last month.

“Joel Campbell is a very good player who has individual skill, but what I also like is that he is a real team player who fights for the team,” Wenger said.

“On top of that he will get to an age where he becomes a real professional footballer.

“He came from Costa Rica at a very young age, went to four different clubs on loan and that made him tough. Now he gets his chance and he is getting stronger in every game.”

Galatasaray have been linked with a move for Campbell this month.

Reports in Turkey suggested general-secretary Fatih Isbecer has travelled to London for talks with the Gunners.

Southampton will reportedly resist the Gunners’ attempts to sign Victor Wanyama.

Wanyama tried to engineer a move away from St Mary’s over the summer and Wenger is keen to add an experienced midfielder to his ranks.

But the Daily Mirror claim Saints won’t listen to offers for Wanyama until the end of the season.

The Gunners have been informed that a £20 million bid could be enough to secure Wanyama’s services. — Agencies.

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