Arsenal transfer news: Mislintat's first signing, latest on Aubameyang, and more - 6th January 2018
Konstantinos Mavropanos is Sven Mislintat's first signing
The current head of recruitment at Arsenal was signed from Borussia Dortmund, where he built quite a reputation for unearthing rough diamonds on the cheap. Some of his best signings were Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele.
He is the high-profile signing made by the London club along with nine others in the backroom staff with a director of football set to join the club in February.
Mavropanos is the first signing made under Mislintat's regime and Arsene Wenger confirmed as much and said:
“We talk. We know the players. We know. It’s not that we discover, we know every single player in Europe before Sven arrived. Sometimes, in a little club in Germany, he might know somebody we might ignore.”
The Greek defender is set to be loaned out until the end of the season before joining the first-team in the summer. He represents a shift in management at Arsenal and Mislintat will start to call the shots, especially in terms of signing lesser-known talents.
Thus, the London club could finally steal a march on their rivals in the next few years if Mislintat replicates his success at Dortmund and Mavropanos could be the first such signing.
Wenger rules out Aubameyang signing in January
The Gunners are likely to lose Alexis Sanchez in this transfer window before the end of this month and are believed to be looking for replacements. Borussia Dortmund's striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was among the ones mentioned in recent weeks and Wenger was asked about the possibility of signing the Gabon international in January. As quoted by FourFourTwo, he said:
"No, that's not a possibility."
That rules out any potential bid for the 28-year old but it does not imply the Gunners will not try to sign him in the summer with their head of recruitment, Mislintat, having worked previously at Dortmund. According to Charles Watts at Football London:
[The likelihood of a big name January addition] depends on Sanchez. If he goes, then there is a chance - although I still believe Arsenal will wait unto the summer to do any real significant business. Aubameyang could be one to keep an eye on, given what is happening with him at Dortmund - and his links with Sven Mislintat."
"Arsenal are well aware of the reaction that selling Sanchez will bring and the only way to counter the is to make a high profile addition. So I wouldn’t rule it out, but as far as I’m aware it’s unlikely as it stands. If [Aubameyang] does [happen], I think there would be more chance of it happening in the summer."
Thus, Aubameyang could still join Arsenal, albeit only in the summer.
AS Monaco boss rules out January move for Thomas Lemar
The Frenchman has been on Arsenal's radar since before the summer transfer window and the London side almost signed him on deadline day in August with a transfer fee in the excess of £90 million, but for the deal to fall through in the last minute. The 22-year old playmaker was touted to be a replacement for wantaway star Alexis Sanchez.
Now, the Chilean is looking likely to leave, reigniting the Gunners' interest in Lemar. Further, he is a top target for Jurgen Klopp as well as the club is looking to replace Philippe Coutinho with the Ligue 1 star. When the AS Monaco boss, Leonardo Jardim, was asked about a possible departure, he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard:
“We are not in the habit of doing major sales of players (in the winter transfer window).”
While this could possibly mean an end for the pursuit of Lemar in this winter transfer window, it could also just imply that signing AS Monaco's star midfielder will be tougher than either of Arsenal or Liverpool would want it to be.