Barcelona sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer from Arsenal

(Football news) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has agreed to a transfer to Barcelona on deadline day after an agreement was reached for the Gabonese striker. Arsenal have allowed Aubameyang to leave on a free transfer after he was frozen out from a squad due to a disciplinary breach in December. The move appeared to have collapsed earlier yesterday as there was a significant gap between the wages Barcelona was prepared to pay and what he previously earned at Arsenal. However, a compromise was met eventually and the deal went through late on Monday evening.

Aubameyang has been a prolific goalscorer for Arsenal, netting 92 times in 163 games. The Gunners signed him for £56m from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and will endure a loss after letting him go on a free transfer. However, they will save £15m in wages as Aubameyang was surplus to requirements, having not featured for Arsenal since December after a disciplinary breach. The transfer means that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta only has Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as forward options for the remainder of the season. 

Having signed Sergio Aguero on a free transfer from Manchester City in the summer, the Argentine announced his retirement from the sport after being diagnosed with heart arrhythmia. As a result, Barcelona were left empty handed in their attacking options, especially considering that Lionel Messi had departed for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. Aubameyang’s African Cup of Nations involvement was cut short due to heart lesions after the 32 year old suffered from COVID-19. However, the Gabonese striker has since received an all-clear from subsequent scans which helped in completing his move to the Catalan giants.

Barcelona were hoping to offload Ousmane Dembele in order to accommodate Aubameyang in the team. The French forward moved to Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of 147 million euros and has spent a significant time in the treatment room since then. The club had offered an ultimatum to the French forward to find a new team in the January transfer window but the 24 year old will now stay on until the end of the season, after which he can depart for free. As a result, Aubameyang had to settle for an offer of 2m euros (£1.6m) in wages compared to the 9m euros (£7.5m) he was earning at Arsenal due to the salary cap imposed on Barcelona and their present financial difficulties.

Also read: January transfer window recap from the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A


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