Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has told Barcelona to make effort to bring him to Camp Nou, saying that is seriously considering dumping the north London club this month.
Aubameyang signed for the Gunners for a club-record fee of £56 million from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in January 2018. The 30-year-old, however, remains under contract at the north London club until summer 2021, but has so far refused to commit by signing a new deal.
Arsenal want to tie down the former Borussia Dortmund star to a new deal before he enters the final year of his current contract, which is worth nearly £200,000 a week. Arsenal have offered Aubameyang a significant pay rise, plus clauses that would trigger another hike if he can help fire them back into the Champions League.
Barcelona in the hunt for a new striker following the injury to striker Luiz Suarez who will be sidelined for at least six weeks after he required surgery on a knee injury. Barcelona have identified the Arsenal captain as cover and replacement for the Uruguayan. The Spanish want to bring the Gabon international to the Nou Camp this month in order to reinforce their attacking options.
Aubameyang had distanced himself from a rumoured move away from the Gunners, stating he is “committed to the club and desperate to bring it back to the top”. However, the Gabon international was believed to want to see how the Gunners progressed under Mikel Arteta and if they qualified for next season’s Champions League before deciding whether to put pen to paper.
But Mundo Deportivo claims that he is now weighing up his options this month, and could leave the Premier League club if Barca can tempt Arsenal to cash in. The Arsenal star has given Barcelona the green light to make a bid for him and the Spanish club could now step up their efforts to sign him.
The report added that a potential transfer is a ‘very complicated situation’ and that the reaction of Arsenal fans could prevent the north London club from doing business. They also state that Aubameyang will find it ‘difficult’ to push for a move in public or hand in a transfer request as he is the club’s captain, having taken the armband from Granit Xhaka earlier in the season.
The Arsenal striker is, however, interested in a move to the Nou Camp and the chance to play alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. Barca have considered other forwards, such as Valencia’s Rodrigo, but Aubameyang’s pace is believed to make him the more ideal option.
Lionel Messi started up front in Quique Setién’s first game in charge, but club officials fear that they do not have enough cover behind the Argentine and Antoine Griezmann. The Catalans are scared that things would get even worse if anything were to happen to both players. As a result, they want a new high-profile striker in the mold of Aubameyang.