Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left out of Borussia Dortmund squad due to transfer talk

James Benge

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of the Borussia Dortmund squad for their trip to Hertha Berlin as Arsenal pursue his signature.

The Gabon striker has emerged as a serious target for Arsenal, though the Gunners are yet to make a formal offer for a striker valued at £55million by Dortmund.

Aubameyang missed his side’s 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg on Sunday having been dropped from the squad for disciplinary reasons for the third time in the past 12 months and he will not return to manager Peter Stoger’s side this weekend either.

“We felt that he is not 100% focused,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said.

“We'll see if this will help him. It's a difficult situation.”

Dortmund had reacted angrily to comments made by Arsene Wenger earlier today in which the Arsenal manager downplayed questions over Aubameyang’s character, though the comments were sufficiently vague that they might not be construed as solely in relation to the striker.

“Character can be a very positive note and it can be a very negative note,” Wenger said. “I believe overall you look at the achievements of a player during his career and usually, when a career has been very positive, the character has been used in a positive way.”

When asked directly about a move for Aubameyang Wenger said he had “nothing to add to that”. However Zorc was far from impressed.

“We think it is a lack of respect when you get involved with players who are playing for another team,” he said earlier on Thursday.

“There is no contact with Arsenal. We can only assume that Arsène Wenger has enough to think about when it comes to the performances of his own players.”