The Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saga at Arsenal could be coming to an end as several sources claim the Gabonese striker is close to joining Barcelona on transfer deadline day.
The 32-year-old has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the captaincy and exiled from the first team over disciplinary issues back in mid-December. As a result, a January move for the no.14 was best for both parties, with the north London giants keen on getting rid of his high wages while the attacker can continue doing what he does best.
The Blaugrana's interest in the former Dortmund striker emerged a few days ago after it became evident that a deal for Juventus' Alvaro Morata was off the table. Marca claimed that while all parties – Barcelona, Arsenal, and the player – were open to this idea, the Catalan giants had to first move on Ousmane Dembele in order to clear his wages.
And according to Santi Aouna of Mercato, Barcelona have found an arrangement for the Frenchman. The Spanish giants have reportedly reached an agreement with PSG that would see the winger move from Camp Nou to the Parc des Princes. However, as pointed out by ESPN's Julien Laurens, it remains unclear whether this switch will take place now or in the summer.
The very reliable @Santi_J_FM announces that PSG have an agreement with Ousmane Dembele! It could happen now or more likely in the summer. I don't know where to start… Not a surprise though, such a PSG signing!— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) January 30, 2022
Does this give Barcelona the green light to land Aubameyang? According to several outlets, the answer is yes. David Ornstein of the Athletic and Chris Wheatley of Football London both report that a loan deal is likely to take place on the final day of the transfer window. The Gabonese ace, who unfortunately did not feature for his country in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to health complications from COVID-19, is said to be keen on a move to Spain.
There was interest in the attacker from Saudi Arabia but his wish is to remain in Europe in order to continue playing top-level football. Given that he currently earns £350,000 a week at the Emirates Stadium, his salary was tipped as the biggest roadblock for Xavi's side but rumors are the player is willing to take a huge wage cut in order to don the iconic Blaugrana jersey.
As for the Gunners, they are not close to signing a replacement before the window shuts close. It was initially thought that Arteta and Co. would not sanction an exit unless a new no.9 was recruited, but this does not appear to be the case. Instead, they have merely rejected all offers from Crystal Palace and Newcastle for Eddie Nketiah, whose contract ends this summer, leaving the young Englishman and Alexandre Lacazette as their only senior strikers.