Coming off Barcelona’s loss to Valencia on Saturday night, Quique Setien’s first as boss, the Catalan giants are looking to make a surprise move for the Gabon international.
Barcelona’s bold effort to sign Arsenal’s key marksman — responsible for 48% of the Gunners’ goals this season — may come to a halt due to the asking price.
The Gunners have put a price tag of at least £50 million for the 30-year-old Aubameyang, whose contract expires in 18 months.
“Although head coach Mikel Arteta has insisted he wants to keep Aubameyang until at least the end of the season, Barça hope that Gabriel Martinelli’s good form may tempt Arsenal into a late re-think,” writes Law.
Although Aubameyang is apparently “Okay” with Barca’s approach, he also faces the hurdle of a ‘loyalty bonus’ in his Arsenal contract.
According to Der Spiegel, Aubameyang’s contract includes a £15.15m loyalty bonus in four installments should he see out his current contract to 2021.
Unless Barcelona meet the exorbitant fee requested for Auba, it’s nearly impossible to see how Arsenal lets their main player go despite the rapid ascendance of Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli.
The Gunners captain, who’s serving a three-game suspension for his red card against Crystal Palace, previously restated his commitment to the North London club.
“I would also like to react to some of the rumors that are going around about me in the media. People like making up stories and they should focus on what’s happening on the pitch,” said Aubameyang.
“They talk too much and it does my head in! I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs.”
Aubameyang still refuses to sign a new contract with the club given the team’s unlikeliness to qualify for Champions League next season.
Barcelona’s bid comes at a tough time for the Gunners who remain 10th in the Premier League table but are showing signs of progress under Arteta.