Arsenal are looking increasingly likely to concede defeat with their star striker after Barcelona made him their number one target in the upcoming transfer window.
The La Liga side are preparing an offer for Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, which could be too good for the Gunners to refuse with just one year left on the 31-year-old’s contract.
Since joining the club in the January 2018, the Gabonese has netted 61 goals and proved to be a crucial cog in the machine for each of the three managers he’s played under.
Aubameyang was awarded the Arsenal captaincy earlier this season in the club’s latest plot to reward him, but it seems convincing him to sign an extension is easier said than done.
According to recent comments from Aubameyang, contract negotiations have stalled over the last few months with him outlining that club “hold the keys to his future”.
But in the latest twist of an ever-growing saga, the reliable journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has reported that Barcelona are ready to submit a £35m deal for what is now their number one target.
La Liga will soon issue a rule for the upcoming window meaning clubs like Barcelona are only allowed to invest 25% of their sales revenue on transfers, effectively ruling out the signing of Lautaro Martinez, who has a £100m release clause at Inter Milan.
At a younger age and better sell-on value, Barcelona were ready to go all in for Martinez who would help the Catalan giants rebuild their reputation as Spain’s top club.
However, it seems as if the easier and more financially viable option would be turning to Aubameyang, a player who’s always had his sights on playing in La Liga, and would have a much better chance of finishing his career on a high with some silverware.
Arsenal now face a huge decision on whether to keep Aubameyang for one more year and let him leave for free next season, or cash in whilst they can.
Many would argue how far £35m can actually go in today’s market, so the majority of the Arsenal fanbase would be inclined to keep hold of the striker who could help Mikel Arteta’s side spark a return to the top four in the 2020/21 campaign.
If Arsenal can convince Aubameyang there is a long-term plan and Arteta will get backed financially in the upcoming window, we may have a small chance of the #14 signing a short-term extension before he sees out the rest of his career elsewhere.
Time will tell, but Arsenal need to get this deal right if they are to have any sort of power and respect in the transfer marker this summer.