Olivier Giroud is primed to join Chelsea from Arsenal in a deal worth £17.5m, which will pave the way for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to move from Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal. Michy Batshuayi is set to complete the interlocking transfers with a loan from Chelsea to Dortmund.
Dortmund gave Aubameyang permission to travel to London on Tuesday in order to undergo a medical at Arsenal and complete the finer details of a deal that is valued at £60m. But they had made it clear that they would not sign off on the transfer until they had sourced a replacement.
Chelsea have wanted to offload Batshuayi but they, too, had refused to do so without a replacement – a player to lighten the load on the first-choice centre-forward, Álvaro Morata. They turned to Giroud and he is set to smooth the wheels of the deals.
Chelsea resumed negotiations with Arsenal over the France striker on Tuesday morning and there has now been a breakthrough. Giroud had been touted as a makeweight in Arsenal’s deal with Dortmund for Aubameyang but he preferred to remain in London.
Giroud’s priority has been to enjoy greater playing opportunity before the World Cup finals, having started only one Premier League game for Arsenal all season – following the club’s £52.7m signing of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon last summer.
Giroud will back himself in what promises to be a fight for minutes with Morata. The fee for Giroud is inclusive of add-ons.