Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's tumultuous stint at Borussia Dortmund looks to be close to the end. His exceptional strike rate will be tough to replace, but what are the options? DW takes a closer look.
A fee is agreed and the fractious relationship between Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Borussia Dortmund looks close to ending in divorce. However, as usual in the last days of the transfer window, several other transfers may need to be confirmed before the Gabonese striker holds up an Arsenal shirt. But with 141 goals in a shade over 200 games, Aubameyang leaves some big shoes to fill. Here are the players Dortmund may look to.
The Arsenal target man (top) could, according to numerous reports, move the other way to Aubameyang, having already moved down the pecking order in London with the arrival of Alexander Lacazette. Giroud needs regular football to secure a place in France's World Cup squad but is understood to be keen to stay in London, with Chelsea reportedly after his signature. Strong in the air and when linking play, Giroud is comfortable with his back to goal, something which may suit Dortmund's glut of attacking midfielders. But, depite a propensity for spectacular strikes, his lack of pace would neccesitate a change of style for a team who have long relied on Aubameyang's searing pace to breach defenses.
The Belgian striker looks likely to be on the move in the next couple of days, with Chelsea seemingly keen to offload the man they spent €40 million ($50 million) on in 2016. Though not as quick as Aubameyang, the 24-year-old's pace and power would make him a good fit for the single striker formation that Dortmund favor. Despite his hefty price tag, Batshuayi has struggled to make an impact at Chelsea, who bought Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid in pre-season. Coach Antonio Conte appears not to trust the player who sealed the Premier League title for the club last season - he completed 90 Premier League minutes for the first time on Saturday - and a loan move appears to be the most likely scenario. Dortmund appear favorites to secure a short term move but there are other clubs in for the former Marseille man.
He's the man who may have indirectly bought Peter Stöger to Dortmund but Anthony Modeste could link up with his old Cologne coach again. Modeste's 25 league goals last season earned Cologne a Europa League spot and the player a move to Tianjin Quanjin in China and his departure started the slide that led to Stöger's sacking at Cologne. But with the Austrian calling the shots at Dortmund and Modeste's agent suggesting the 29-year-old wants a return to the Bundesliga, this one could be a goer. The French striker is used to leading the line solo and, with his experience of the league, would be a relatively safe option.
Alexander Isak/Andre Schürrle
Should none of these come to fruition, Dortmund will be forced to reconsider their existing options. After leaving Aubameyang out of the squad for draws against Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin, Stöger turned to Isak and Schürrle respectively. Neither scored, with Schürrle looking particularly impotent playing out of position. Isak demonstrated a greater aptitude as a lone frontman, striking a post in the Wolfsburg match but at 18 is still raw and yet to score in the Bundesliga. With the Aubameyang situation looking untenable and the internal solutions unconvincing, it seems certain that Dortmund will have to make moves before the window shuts on Wednesday night.