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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang attending CAF Awards, dispelling Arsenal reports

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not be part of the Borussia Dortmund squad flying out to Dubai on Thursday as the attacker has instead travelled to Nigeria to attend the CAF Awards in Abuja.

Aubameyang's absence from Dortmund's first full training session of 2016 on Tuesday led to rumours that a transfer to the Premier League was imminent.

Arsenal have been linked with the Gabon international, who Dortmund said had missed the training session with a "personal appointment," adding that "in close consultation with BVB" he will fly to Nigeria for the award ceremony.

"We have all our fingers crossed. And he will directly fly out to the training camp in Dubai after the ceremony," the club said.

Aubameyang has been shortlisted for the 24th edition of the CAF Awards alongside Manchester City's Yaya Toure -- who picked up the BBC African Player of the Year award late last year -- and Swansea's Andre Ayew.

Several Dortmund players have been linked with a switch away from the Bundesliga team, who have earned a reputation of being a selling rather than a buying club when losing Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze, and Robert Lewandowski in four consecutive summers.

One of the players linked with a departure from the Westfalenstadion is Ilkay Gundogan, who is under contract until 2017.

Recent reports in Italian media had linked the Germany international with a switch to Juventus, who reportedly were prepared to spend some €30 million on the midfielder.

"I read those reports with great interest," Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc told Bild. "But I don't have to comment on every rumour."

The 25-year-old has also been linked with a switch into Premier League, but he reportedly would prefer a switch to Barcelona in the summer.

Meanwhile, midfielder Nuri Sahin and full-back Erik Durm have resumed squad training and could return to the Dortmund squad sooner than later after not featuring for Thomas Tuchel side during the first half of the season because of injuries.

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