Arsenal have completed the club-record £56million signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund confirmed the news on their Twitter account on Wednesday, before Arsenal then shared a picture of Aubameyang posing in the club’s home kit, while screaming into the camera. He has become the best-paid player in the club’s history on a three-and-a-half-year contract worth £180,000 per week.
The 28-year-old striker is part of a transfer merry-go-round that will see Olivier Giroud leave the Gunners for Chelsea and Michy Batshuayi quit Stamford Bridge to replace Aubameyang at Dortmund.
But Aumbameyang brings with him a bad-boy reputation, having been the subject of several disciplinary proceedings by Dortmund.
A statement from Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc alluded to the striker’s recent problems, saying: ‘Apart from the unpleasant events of recent weeks, we like to remember that the story of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at BVB for more than four years was a single success story.
‘He has done great things for Borussia Dortmund at this time, scored many important goals and is part of the team that brought the DFB Cup to Dortmund in 2017. We wish Pierre-Emerick all the best for his future at Arsenal.’
The move for the explosive striker has been driven by Arsenal’s recently-appointed head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.
Aubameyang does not fit the usual profile of the player the Gunners have tried to sign in recent years.
At 28, he is likely to have little resale value. Similarly, his sometimes criticised attitude represents a shift from the type of personality the club have targeted under Arsene Wenger.
The Arsenal manager and chief executive Ivan Gazidis arrived at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on Wednesday morning as they tied up the Aubameyang deal.
Wenger appeared in a serious mood as he drove into the club’s HQ just hours after his side’s humiliating 3-1 defeat at struggling Swansea.
But the boss may well have a smile back on his face after completing the impressive signing of a striker who has excelled in the Bundesliga. He scored 141 goals in 212 appearances for Dortmund.
Aubameyang was spotted leaving Dortmund Airport on Tuesday, gathering his belongings from a gold Range Rover before heading towards a back entrance.
The Gabon international then flew to Luton Airport on a private jet, accompanied by his father Pierre and his brothers Catilina and Willy, to finalise the move.
After touching down in England, he headed to Arsenal’s training ground and was spotted arriving at the London Colney base where he then had his medical.
Aubameyang withdrew on Monday from appearing as a witness in a court case of the man suspected of targeting Dortmund’s bus with three bombs last April.
Officially, Aubameyang is sick and cannot attend and Dortmund have given him permission to stay away.
In a complicated chain of sale, Dortmund insisted they will only sign off Aubameyang’s release once they had a replacement. They targeted Batshuayi on loan but Chelsea, in turn, would only agree to that if they could sign Giroud.