Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans at Arsenal anymore, with the former captain now being made available for transfer.
Arsenal has received official bids from European giants Barcelona and Juventus for the Gabonese forward. Both clubs want to have Aubameyang on loan until the end of the campaign. He has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and made to train alone following a “disciplinary breach” last month.
Arsenal received the best offer up to this point from Saudi champions Al-Hilal, who are ready to cover Aubameyang’s full salary until the end of June. The player’s intention is to continue his career in Europe for the time being. His weekly wage comes close to $470k, making him the highest earner at Arsenal.
The bookies see Barcelona as having the edge in the race to sign Aubameyang. The Catalan club is at +225 to seal a move for the 32-year-old before the transfer window closes on 31 Jan., with Juventus behind at +275. Newcastle is now at +1000, while AC Milan, the club where Aubameyang spent a few years as a teenager more than a decade ago, stands at +1400.
The talks center on the duration of the loan, as well as the structure of the wage payment, according to The Athletic.
Juve dream of an explosive attack this season
Having just signed Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina in a huge deal that could cost the club up to $84 million, Juventus now works on Alvaro Morata’s exit. The Spaniard was a target for FC Barcelona, who now favor Aubayemang over him. If Morata does leave, that will open up space in Turin and Juve will be able to act. According to sources in Italy, Juventus head coach Max Allegri would want to use a dynamite trio up front consisting of Vlahovic, Dybala and Aubameyang.
Auba is under contract at Arsenal until the summer of 2023. He was not part of the traveling squad on Thursday, when Arsenal’s players and staff flew to Dubai for a short training camp. The chances of him being reintegrated into the first-team group are regarded as small, even considering his status. Aubameyang scored seven goals in 15 games in all competitions this season, taking his Arsenal total to 92 goals in 163 appearances.
He joined the North London club from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 in return of a then club-record transfer fee of $75 million. Aubameyang has recently tested positive to COVID-19, missing out on Gabon’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign. African doctors also sent him to London for further investigations after they found heart lesions following the infection.