Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could yet return for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday — despite the on-going saga of his possible move to Arsenal — his German club’s head coach Peter Stoeger said Thursday.
“He’s made a good impression in training, if things keep going the way they have, then he’s an option for the squad,” Stoeger said tersely of Aubameyang ahead of Saturday’s home match against Freiburg.
However, the Austrian said something similar before last Friday’s 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin, then pulled the striker from the squad, saying he felt Aubameyang was “distracted”.
The star forward is chasing a move to the Gunners to replace Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, who has joined Manchester United.
The Gabon international was dropped for Dortmund’s Bundesliga draws at Wolfsburg, then last Friday in Berlin in the wake of the speculation.
According to German media reports, Dortmund have rejected a second bid of 58 millions euros ($71.9m) by Arsenal.
French striker Olivier Giroud has been linked to the deal in part exchange for Aubameyang.
Dortmund, sixth in Germany’s top flight, reportedly want 70 million for Aubameyang, who has a Borussia deal until 2021.
Freiburg are 12th in the Bundesliga after going on a seven-match unbeaten run in the league and are expected to test Dortmund.
Aubameyang has netted 13 goals in 15 games, but last played on December 17 when he scored in a 2-1 win at home to Hoffenheim.
Dortmund’s press officer blocked any further questions about Aubameyang’s future at the club in Thursday’s press conference.
“We never comment on players who are part of transfer rumours — same if there is a question about Olivier Giroud,” said the Dortmund official.
German magazine Kicker claim Dortmund’s senior figures are “increasingly angry” about the drawn-out negotiations with Arsenal.
Broadcaster Sport1 predict the deal could go through for 65 million euros as Dortmund are eager to cash in on their want-away star.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said they have “lots of options” and a “decision has not been made” although Gunners senior figures were seen in Dortmund last Sunday.