Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang almost about moving to Spain as Spanish giants Barcelona are advanced talks with London Side Arsenal about loaning the striker.
Although the two teams have not yet reached an agreement, there is growing optimism that it will be finalized before the transfer market closes on Monday night.
Aubameyang will stay at the Nou Camp until the end of the season as part of the deal.
Barcelona would not be able to make Aubameyang’s move permanent, and talks about how much of the forward’s wages they would cover are still ongoing.
Juventus were also interested in signing Aubameyang, but their move was contingent on Atletico Madrid agreeing to shorten Alvaro Morata’s loan period. Morata will remain at Juventus for the time being.
After stripping Aubameyang of his captaincy in December due to a disciplinary issue, Arsenal is willing to let him leave.
The 32-year-old hasn’t appeared for the club since December 6, and was left out of their warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week.
Earlier in the transfer window, FUTBALLNEWS reported that the 32-year-old would prefer a move to a top European club if a deal could be reached.
Marseille, Sevilla, PSG, and AC Milan have all indicated interest, while Saudi Arabian teams Al Nassr and Al Hilal have made loan approaches with a purchase option.
Aubameyang had become disoriented
Because of the drastic drop in performance, it’s probably worth reminding people that Aubameyang was a world-class striker for the majority of his time at Arsenal.
Indeed, no player has scored more Premier League goals for the club since his debut in February 2018 until his double against Everton in February 2020. In that time frame, he scored 49 goals, the same as Mohamed Salah and a dozen more than Harry Kane.
After that, he scored twice in Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory over Chelsea in the summer of 2020, which was a notable highlight. But there was a sense of decline almost as soon as his new deal was signed that September, as if he was a player whose greatest days were behind him.
Without the captaincy, leadership has had to come from somewhere else far too often. Under Mikel Arteta, it is the young players, not the best-paid player, who are propelling Arsenal forward. The club has dealt with such situations before, most recently with Mesut Ozil. It’s not going to last.
At 32, there’s still a chance that Aubameyang can rediscover his best form, spurred on by new surroundings and the challenge of restoring Barcelona to their former glory. Any regret at Arsenal will be overshadowed by the realization that it is time for the club to move on.