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Arsenal name Giroud asking price as Chelsea’s Dzeko bid ‘breaks down’ — reports

Three days to go in the January transfer window.

Arsenal v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Quarter-Final Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Michy Batshuayi has made a strong case over the past week regarding his own future prospects at Chelsea, and in the process may have just saved the Blues at least £30m (plus wages) and a bit of heartache as well.

Chelsea had been hoping to sign Edin Dzeko before sending Michy out on loan — though Conte hinted after Sunday’s match that there might be room for three strikers, even — but the latest reports are once again rather unpromising. Here’s the Independent, for example, claiming that negotiations over the weekend have broken down and are “on the verge of collapsing”.

For what it’s worth, The Times meanwhile are still putting a 70 per cent chance on the deal, though they predict it will go down to the wire on Wednesday, which is probably a safe bet considering Chelsea’s prior habits.

There was supposedly a deadline of Sunday night or Monday morning for Chelsea to get this done, though as Roma CEO Umberto Gandini intimated yesterday, it takes three to tango (and sometimes more!), and not everyone is ready to get down and boogie.

“Nothing has happened yet, the market is open for everyone. Every club sells and that is ordinary activity. [...] There are offers, we are talking and evaluating, but it takes three parties to reach an agreement and at times also with those who are around the player.”

-Umberto Gandini; source: Football Italia

It’s been reported that Dzeko’s family is not keen at all on moving to London, especially if Chelsea aren’t really offering that much more in terms of financial compensation. Meanwhile, Dzeko’s backup at Roma, Patrick Schick has suffered another injury setback, ruling him out for at least a couple weeks, and that could scupper any potential deal from the Giallorossi’s end, too.

So what are Chelsea to do?

Beyond just the obvious solution of keeping Michy Batshuayi, Chelsea have been recently linked with Leicester City’s Islam Slimani (as have a few other Premier League teams), as well as Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud.

The Gunners are apparently back in for Aubameyang at BVB, and if he arrives they’d want to recoup some of the £60m transfer fee by letting the 31-year-old Meaty French Forehead go, perhaps to BVB or perhaps elsewhere. Chelsea had inquired about a loan not too long ago but were summarily rejected, and while it would be a surprise if Arsenal willingly sold to Chelsea, they just might for the right price. Unfortunately, Giroud ticks many of the same negative boxes as Dzeko does, too, including his age (31) and probably wage- and contract length-demands. Oh, and Arsenal apparently want £35m for him.


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