Two top European sides are interested in signing Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on loan in January, but the Gunners may find it difficult to accept an offer
Juventus and Barcelona both want to sign Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Both clubs are interested in loaning Aubameyang – who hasn’t played for nearly two months – to bolster their respective attacks for the final four months of the season.
It’s unclear whether either side would be interested in signing the striker on a long-term basis and how much of his £350,000-a-week salary they are willing to cover.
Barcelona have well-documented financial problems, while Juventus’ budget will have been hit by the impending arrival of Fiorentina ace Dusan Vlahovic.
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Should Morata head to the Nou Camp, Barca would unlikely be able to afford Aubameyang’s wages, while Juventus would have a gap in their squad to fill.
However, if Morata stays put, Barca could make a bid for Aubameyang a priority,
Arsenal have already received an appealing loan with an option-to-buy offer from Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal for Aubameyang’s services.
While that deal would appeal to the Gunners, the player would prefer to stay in Europe.
Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy in December and hasn’t featured since returning late from a sanctioned trip to France to visit his family.
According to The Athletic, both Juventus and Barcelona are not thought to be concerned about his professionalism – despite being punished for a “disciplinary breach”.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker was prolific during his first two years at Arsenal, finding the back of the net 43 times in the Premier League.
Since Arteta’s appointment in December 2019, however, that number has dropped to 25.
Aubameyang – who has won silverware in France, Germany and England – has 18 months remaining on his existing deal.
Agreeing a longer deal with either Barcelona or Juventus would suit the Gunners, allowing them to invest in a permanent replacement.
A shorter deal, meanwhile, could force Arteta to enter the loan market or sign a free agent. Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic is available and ex-Chelsea star Diego Costa is currently unattached.
But both players have worrying disciplinary records and Arteta is unlikely to risk another “disciplinary breach” in his squad.
“I know he’s going to go through a lot because that’s Arsenal for you,” he said. “They never learn, they never know how to forgive so I know he’s going through a lot.
“But he’s a good player, he’s a strong player and a fantastic player so I wish him all the best.
“I’ve sent him a message already and I wish him well and hope that he bounces back because, whether we like it or not, he’s our African brother and we want to keep representing African football the way he was doing before the problem.”
On whether he could return to Arsenal’s team, Adebayor added: “At Arsenal, I don’t think so. This is what I knew. It happened to me also. Not in the same way.
“But in Arsenal way back. I would be surprised but let’s see what happens. He’s a great player so let’s see how it ends up.”