Is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Barcelona move back ON? Nou Camp chief Joan Laporta insists there is still ‘hope’ after looked as though the Arsenal exile’s ‘Odemwingie’ act had failed
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s loan move to Barcelona is still on, say the club
- The 32-year-old was pictured arriving in Catalonia on transfer deadline day
- Yet multiple reports say Barcelona weren’t expecting Aubameyang to show up
- The saga evoked memories of Peter Odemwingie’s QPR transfer saga in 2013
- Aubameyang was reportedly willing to take a cut on his £350,000-a-week salary
- But the deal between Arsenal and Barca has broken down over salary figures
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s prospective loan move to Barcelona could still happen after Catalans president Joan Laporta confirmed there is still ‘hope’ a deal can be made for the Arsenal striker.
Sportsmail revaeled earlier on deadline day that Barcelona’s talks over the Gabon forward had collapsed after both Arsenal and the Spanish giants were surprised that the striker jetted to Spain on Monday.
Barca finance directors held discussions this morning about how to fit Aubameyang into their salary cap – as the Gabon forward arrived in Catalonia on Monday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s prospective loan move to Barcelona is still on, say the club
Aubameyang has already arrived in Spain (left), evoking memories of Peter Odemwingie’s transfer saga in 2013 (right)
In a photo circulating on social media on transfer deadline day, the 32-year-old was already in Barcelona posing for photos – yet reports in Spain say Barca weren’t expecting Aubameyang to show up in Spain and nor were Arsenal, bringing back memories of Peter Odemwingie’s infamous QPR transfer saga in 2013.
‘We would like to incorporate Aubameyang. It is very complicated but there is hope,’ Laporta told Mundo Deportivo. ‘We’ve still options open. We’re working on it – and we will until the last minute.’
The parallels with Odemwingie’s situation are now distinctly similar with Aubameyang in Spain despite a move not being agreed, and he still could face an awkward return to London should a deal not be agreed.
Barcelona chief Joan Laporta said on Monday night that the club still hope for Aubameyang
Nigerian forward Odemwingie arrived at QPR’s ground, Loftus Road, on deadline day in January 2013 as he looked to facilitate a move from West Brom. Odemwingie even conducted an interview with Sky Sports about moving to QPR, insisting he was ‘optimistic’ a deal could materialise.
However, he was not allowed in the building as the two clubs had not agreed a deal, nor did they reach one as the deadline was reached, leaving Odemwingie red-faced.
Aubameyang is hoping to finalise his loan and is willing to take a reduction in his estimated £350,000-a-week salary to make it happen if necessary, even flying to Catalonia as he looks to push for a move.
Aubameyang could join Xavi’s LaLiga giants in a loan deal until the end of the season
Meanwhile, Barcelona are reportedly set to sell Ousmane Dembele to Chelsea, with reports in Spain claiming the deal is ’99 per cent done’.
Sportsmail understands Barcelona’s move for Aubameyang does not hinge on the departure of Dembele but losing his wages would make their financial equation easier to solve.
Barcelona have been asking for a £16.5m fee but are open to proposals. Swaps with players have been dismissed so far, including some with Paris Saint-Germain – with names such as Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Juan Bernat all floated.
Eddie Nketiah is likely to stay at Arsenal should Aubameyang depart, despite a request from Crystal Palace.
Barcelona’s decision on Aubameyang does not hinge on the departure of Ousmane Dembele
Arsenal have been looking to move Aubameyang on ever since he was dropped from the squad by coach Mikel Arteta and stripped of the captaincy following a breach of discipline.
Barcelona have had a busy transfer window, signing Spain striker Ferran Torres from Manchester City for £55million, despite the much publicised financial problems which forced them to part ways with Lionel Messi last year.
They have also brought Adama Traore back to the club where he began his career, on a loan deal from Wolves.