Chelsea join Aubameyang hunt, as Dortmund demand £63m
German club are hoping a bidding war will break out as Blues give up on Lukaku and Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund have called Chelsea's bluff over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and are demanding at least £63m for their in-demand striker.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea and Liverpool are among the clubs chasing the Gabon goal machine and the paper says that Dortmund intend to "spark a bidding war" for his services with their decision to sell to any club provided the price is right.
Aubameyang, who scored 31 goals in just 32 games last season, is expected to leave the German club in the next month after the comments of Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke to Bild. "We will listen to it when a club is willing to show its appreciation for Aubameyang in a financial way," he declared. "If an official bid were to reach more than £63m, it would have to be reported as a necessary to proceed. This has not happened so far."
The Mail says that Liverpool are unlikely to have much luck in luring Aubameyang to Anfield because Reds boss Jurgen Klopp "failed to see eye-to-eye" with the striker during his time in charge at Dortmund. That leaves Chelsea, and with the Blues having gone cold on Romelu Lukaku and been warned off Robert Lewandowski by Bayern Munich, it's expected they'll table a bid for Aubameyang in the coming month.
At the other end of the field The Guardian claims that Antonio Conte is "pushing for Chelsea to secure Leonardo Bonucci or the unsettled Southampton centre-half Virgil van Dijk" ahead of next season.
The Blues boss feels his back-four needs bolstering but the Guardian warns that a deal for either defender will be "far from straightforward".
Bonucci is 30 and while Juventus are prepared to listen to offers, they are apparently asking for £50m, which Chelsea believe is too much for a player of his age.
The Blues may try and haggle with the Italian champs, or they could shift their focus to Van Dijk. But they'll have to tread carefully after the Saints threatened to report Liverpool to Fifa earlier in the month for making unwanted approaches to the Dutch defender.
The Guardian claims that Southampton are "intent on resisting interest in Van Dijk although the player may yet agitate to leave". In that eventuality Southampton would expect to receive in the region of £50m.