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Manchester United given boost in pursuit of top striker

| 04.01.2016

Manchester United have been given a significant boost in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the German club seemingly prepared for the striker’s exit.

United are joined by Arsenal and a host of other clubs as admirers of the 26-year-old’s talents and recent comments within BVB have put prospective buyers on red alert.

With 68 goals in a 119-game Dortmund career so far – including 27 strikes in 27 games this term – Aubameyang is one of the most highly-coveted players in Europe and until recently was thought to be strictly off limits.

However, in a recent interview BVB chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke claimed that his club has successfully dealt with the loss of key players before and is prepared to do so again.

In comments published by German newspaper Bild, Watzke said: “One must never make the mistake to believe that a club like BVB is dependent on a player. We are not dependent on anyone.

“When Robert Lewandowski left, we found [a solution] and he even has three more goals than Lewa this season. We are now so well positioned that we can offer alternative solutions again and again.

Gabon international Aubameyang started his career with Milan but was loaned out three times to Dijon, Lille and Monaco before being sold on to Saint-Etienne in 2010.

His 41 strikes in 96 games for the Ligue 1 outfit were enough to convince Dortmund to sign him on a five-year deal and while they are reluctant to part company a rumoured transfer fee of £25m+ could force their arm.

United manager Louis van Gaal has been assured his job is safe and that funds are available to boost his front line.

Southampton’s Sadio Mane is among the favourites to join the Old Trafford club but with Saints boss Ronald Koeman playing hardball Aubameyang could prove a cheaper – and more appropriate – option.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.