One of the finest examples of a transfer merry-go-round was when Arsenal sold Olivier Giroud to Chelsea. That allowed Michy Batshuayi to join Borussia Dortmund from the Blues, a necessary acquisition in order for Arsenal to sign Aubameyang.
On that occasion everyone won. Rarely do we ever see deals like that in which all the parties are left satisfied.
In this January transfer window Aubameyang is once again involved in a situation where certain pieces of the puzzle have to fall in place to come off. It’s not quite as glamorous, mind. The former captain, who is wanted by Saudi Arabia duo Al Hilal and Al Nassr, has not joined with his Arsenal teammates for training in Dubai, adding to the speculation that he will leave this month.
His reluctance to move to the Middle East limits Arsenal’s options to move him on and, while there are suitors, it is almost certain that wherever he goes, likely on loan, will be with the Gunners still paying a portion of his £350k-per-week wages. Probably a large portion.
Ousmane Dembele key to Arsenal’s Aubameyang transfer plans as Barcelona eye sale of Frenchman to bring in former Gunners captain
European sides are keen on the idea, but with the clock ticking ahead of Monday’s deadline there would need to be some swift movement in order to get everything finalised.
Enter Barcelona, the world’s stupidest football club. Run by complete and utter imbeciles, they continue to add debt onto debt and, as per AS, fancy bulking that up further. On the basis that they can shift Ousmane Dembele this month, that is, as they need his chunky salary moved on.
Xavi has made it clear the club want to sell the Frenchman. If La Blaugrana can do so, with PSG mooted as a destination, then they will push through with their pursuit of a No. 9.
Now, Aubameyang is not their number one target. He’s plan B. But their main candidate, Alvaro Morata, is proving to be a tough a tough acquisition with his parent club Atletico Madrid not willing to accept a six month loan deal. Los Rojiblancos want a permanent sale, something Barcelona are not keen on.
Juventus have secured Dusan Vlahovic this winter but that won’t affect Morata – who is on loan in Turin – unless Atletico budge on their current stance.
Which brings Aubameyang into the equation. Highly valued in Catalonia, the club are fans of him being able to play either through the middle or out wide, and as seen with recent baffling purchases and loans, they’re not overly concerned with age or form either.
As inviting as the prospect of moving the striker on and bringing someone else is, one can only expect this will be another simple loan deal until the end of the season without a great deal of his salary being paid. Barça may only want to pay half, if that, a tricky part of the negotiations that would need seeing to quickly with the clock ticking.
Even without a replacement brought in, the feeling is that Arsenal may still let Aubameyang go if an acceptable offer arrives. This window has shown that Mikel Arteta and co aren’t concerned with reducing the squad size, so long as wages and space is freed up, and squad harmony remains in tact.