According to le10sport, Barcelona are prioritising a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the end of the January transfer window.
The La Liga champions are in need of a replacement for Luis Suarez who will miss the next 3-4 months following surgery for a knee injury.
With just 18 months left on his current deal, and with no sign of him putting pen to paper on a new contract, Barcelona may test Arsenal’s transfer market mettle with a bid before the end of the window this month.
The Gunners have dealt with situations like this poorly in the recent past. Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey left for free last summer; we took part in the worst swap deal in history when Alexis Sanchez went to Man Utd with Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way; and with just 6 months left on his deal, Mesut Ozil put pen to paper on a £350,000 deal from which we’ve never got value for money.
Whether that will make Arsenal more open to doing a deal in January remains to be seen, but of course the Catalans will have to make the first move and put a bid down on the table.
Mikel Arteta has spoken more than once about his desire to keep the leading scorer and captain, although did recall Eddie Nketiah from Leeds and retained him when it was widely expected he’d be going out on loan again.
Earlier this month, Aubameyang himself played down rumours of his departure, saying, “I would also like to react to some of the rumours 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. 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.”
It would clearly take a lot to tempt us into a sale when there’s still a Europa League trophy to play for and with it a Champions League place. The summer is a different story but for now the Poo-o-Meter is going high enough on this one.