Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is preparing to have a medical with a view to joining Barcelona on a free transfer after several hours of negotiations during which it appeared his proposed move from Arsenal had broken down.
If the deal gets over the line, he would be leaving with 18 months left on his contract at Arsenal, where he is out of the picture on disciplinary grounds.
Aubameyang was diagnosed with heart lesions after recovering from Covid-19 at the Africa Cup of Nations but went on to say he was “absolutely fine” and “completely healthy”.
It will suit all parties for the transfer to happen. Earlier negotiations appeared to have foundered with the clubs unable to reach an agreement on how to split Aubameyang’s £300,000-a-week wage and the Catalan club’s financial difficulties making things extremely complicated.
The 32-year-old travelled to Barcelona to be there on deadline day in the hope of completing the move – it is understood he also has family in the city.
Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, said with about four hours of the window remaining that the club’s director of football, Mateu Alemany, was optimistic of getting the deal done.
Aubameyang has been exiled at Arsenal by Mikel Arteta, who stripped him of the captaincy citing a lack of commitment. The Saudi club Al-Nassr offered Aubameyang an exit route but the player rejected that.
Barcelona are trying to find a taker for Ousmane Dembélé, who has declined to extend his contract beyond the summer, but the Frenchman had no interest in joining Arsenal. Laporta said there was a proposal from a Premier League club for the player to consider.
Arsenal have agreed a deal with Colorado Rapids for the defender Auston Trusty, the MLS club have said. The 23-year-old will be loaned back to the American side before joining the Premier League team in July.. - Guardian