Transfer round-up: Aubameyang move to Arsenal takes another twist while Manchester United eye Bayern defender
We are entering the home straight of the January transfer window with only three days left for clubs to finalise their business before the clock strikes 11pm on Wednesday.
Arsenal have been uncharacteristically busy this month, and their pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took a further twist on Sunday night as reports emerged it could pave the way for Olivier Giroud to join Chelsea.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal would allow Giroud to join their London rivals if they meet the £35 milllion valuation for the 31-year-old striker.
The France international might need more minutes to be sure of his place in their World Cup squad, and would find himself potentially fourth-choice at Arsenal should Aubameyang join.
That deal is gather pace with various sources confirming German outlet Kicker's story that Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have agreed a fee in the region of £60 million. BBC Sport's David Ornstein reports that completing the deal depends on the German club finding a replacement, which may or may not be Giroud.
Should the transfer go through, it would be the second time in little more than six months that Arsene Wenger's side had broken their record transfer fee - having paid £52 million for Alexandre Lacazette last summer.
That has been supplemented with player sales however, with Gabriel, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin, Alexis Sanchez and potentially Giroud departing.
Arsenal also have a long-standing interest in West Brom's Jonny Evans, with the path seemingly clear as Manchester City close in on Athletic Bilbao centre back Aymeric Laporte.
The Daily Mirror report the defender has said his goodbyes and a £57 million deal could be completed within the next 24 hours. Pep Guardiola has admitted City cannot rely on the the fitness of Vincent Kompany, and with Eliaquim Mangala and John Stones enduring a shaky spell Laporte's arrival would be welcome.
Despite reports linking Chelsea with Giroud, Antonio Conte has ruled out letting Michy Batshuayi leave this month according to the Evening Standard.
In the absence of Alvaro Morata, Conte has preferred using Eden Hazard as a false-nine for the biggest games fuelling speculation that Batshuayi had lost his trust. The Belgian scored twice in Chelsea's 3-0 FA Cup win over Newcastle to end a fallow period.
It is clear a back-up striker is Chelsea's priority, but the Daily Star say pursuit of Edin Dzeko has come to an end after talks with Roma reached an impasse.
Manchester United's January business is likely at an end following the capture of Sanchez, but Bild say he could team up with compatriot Arturo Vidal at Old Trafford.
They say Bayern Munich are ready to sell the 30-year-old central midfielder after signing the highly-regarded Leon Goretzka from Schalke, and United could look to take advantage.
Watford are generally quite proactive in the transfer market, and The Sun report new manager Javi Gracia wants to make Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong his first signing. One potential departure from Vicarage Road is club captain Troy Deeney, with West Brom ready to make an £18 million bid according to the Birmingham Mail.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports say Crystal Palace are keen on Burnley striker Ashley Barnes, while the Lancashire club are also exploring the possibility of taking Arsenal defender Rob Holding on loan.