Barcelona’s desire to bring in a striker this summer is no secret and the club continue to be linked with a move for Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international, who has struck 25 times already this season for the Gunners, is aware of the club’s interest and is “willing to wait for FC Barcelona,” according to Sky Sport.
Mundo Deportivo report Lautaro Martinez remains Barcelona’s primary target, but Aubameyang is the Catalan giants’ top choice in case a move for the Argentine breaks down.
Aubameyang’s contract at Arsenal expires in 2021 which means he is likely to be a far cheaper alternative than Lautaro, although it’s worth noting he turned 31 in June and is not a long-term option for Barca.
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Will Aubameyang Leave Arsenal?
Arsenal have relied on Aubameyang for goals ever since he joined the club from German side Borussia Dortmund in 2018. The striker has continued his prolific form in north London and become a key player for the Gunners.
Manager Mikel Arteta remains convinced Aubameyang can be convinced to stay at the club and extend his contract, according to Zinny Boswell at Sky Sports.
“I like the way the conversations are going, I like what I’m hearing. I’m sure for both parties, the quicker we can do it, the better for everyone. I am confident he will extend his stay.”
“He’s generally happy. I think he is enjoying his football. He is settled in the country and his family are good.”
Arsenal have endured a difficult season which may explain why Aubameyang is yet to commit his future to the club. The Gunners are down in 10th place in the Premier League but have made it through to the FA Cup final.
Aubameyang told Telefoot in June he was facing “possibly the most important decision of my career,” and it’s possible he could be tempted away by the offer of Champions League football.
Lautaro Deal a Problem for Barcelona
Barcelona’s priority still appears to be to bring in Martinez from Inter, but the club are likely to have to sell to be able to finance a deal. ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden have reported Philippe Coutinho could be offloaded to raise funds.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted in an interview with TV3 that transfer negotiations are on hold until the end of the season.
“We talked about Lautaro with Inter a few weeks ago but now the issue is stopped. Now we are not talking about it. We have to finish the League and the Champions League and see what the priorities are.
“It is also a time for internal reflection to clarify how the crisis is affecting the club. It is a market in which you can not think of large investments. We need to see when people can return to the fields, tourists to the museum. We have to wait and see how it all evolves.”
Inter have insisted on several occasions that Martinez is not for sale and will not leave on the cheap. Barca face a challenge to bring him to the Camp Nou this summer, while Aubameyang would be a cheaper option who virtually guarantees goals.
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