Caught in the middle of a what’s quickly turning out to be a Typical Arsenal Protracted Transfer Story, Olivier Giroud’s uncertain future and where it resides has, on the surface, been resolved: Sky Sports is reporting that the French forward will not be joining Borussia Dortmund from Arsenal this month.
Now, take note that the sources don’t say he’s not leaving Arsenal, just that he won’t be joining Dortmund. Because, as the Daily Mail points out, while Dortmund appear to be out on Giroud, the player is “...assessing other options.”
Of course, one of those options is staying at Arsenal, as the club and Dortmund have still yet to come to an agreement on a transfer fee for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the Gunners still falling anywhere from £15-20 million short of the German club’s evaluation of their unsettled, disgruntled forward. That, though, hasn’t stopped Dortmund from exploring other striking options, with the club linked today to Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder. Another player linked to Dortmund is Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi, with manager Antonio Conte preferring to loan his forward out for the remainder of the season if they end up signing Roma’s Edin Dzeko.
What does this all mean? Who the hell knows at this point. Giroud not going to Dortmund this window certainly doesn’t mean that the Aubemeyang deal is off, that Giroud is remaining at Arsenal, or that Giroud will stay at the club - even if they reach an agreement with Dortmund for Aubameyang.
The subterfuge being weaponized by Dortmund regarding their very public and slanted updates on the negotiations should be taken with a grain of salt, however when it comes to the transfer history of Arsenal the past few years perhaps it’s OK to grab a hold of more than just a handful of the very famous crystalline mineral. Dortmund, naturally, are continuing to name Aubameyang to match squads following his spat with the club last last month and earlier this month - a tactic used by none other than Arsenal themselves when negotiating with Manchester United earlier this month regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez.
In other words, we’re staring down a very short-term future of dominoes that are lined up. Quite a few players’ futures are hanging in the balance, and at the moment it appears one of Arsenal or Dortmund will need to blink first to set the movement bonanza in motion. Which one, however, is still completely unknown.