Manchester United, Chelsea or stay at Barcelona – best option for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang never seems to be far from the news at the moment.

Not only has shock interest from both Chelsea and Manchester United emerged in the Barcelona forward, but the recently released All or Nothing Arsenal documentary has played out his messy exit from the Gunners to a global audience.

The former Gabon international has plenty to ponder, not least his future as the speculation continues to mount around him.

Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is linked with Chelsea and Manchester United

The forward fell out with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and joined the Spanish giants in January

The forward fell out with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and joined the Spanish giants in January

Aubameyang and Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a productive relationship at Borussia Dortmund

Aubameyang and Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a productive relationship at Borussia Dortmund

He only joined Barcelona from Arsenal in January but with the Catalan club desperate to raise funds with their well-publicised financial problems, a departure is a plausible outcome.

The Spanish side would rather Martin Braithwaite and Memphis Depay leave, but if either Chelsea or United make a sizable bid for Aubameyang then it is expected to be the former Gunners captain who departs.

The forward, who netted 11 times in 17 LaLiga games after his move last season, is reportedly relaxed about the situation, but the saga surrounding his future promises to be one of the more intriguing plots during the last few weeks of the transfer window.

Here, Sportsmail examines the options on the table for the 33-year-old …

The Barcelona star has plenty to ponder as speculation persists regarding his future

The Barcelona star has plenty to ponder as speculation persists regarding his future

Move to Chelsea and link up with Tuchel?

Thomas Tuchel’s side are desperate for a striker, with a void left in attack after Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both departed Stamford Bridge.

Kai Havertz and new signing Raheem Sterling have looked bright in the opening two fixtures for the Blues up front, but neither have yet contributed a goal or an assist and Chelsea seem to be missing a focal point.

Therefore, it is likely that Aubemayang would come in and be an integral member of the team, and the interest from Chelsea is reported to be genuine.

Barcelona have slapped a £21million price tag on Aubameyang although Chelsea are expected to offer considerably less.

Along with the fact the 33-year-old would be heavily involved due to the dearth of striking options, a move to Stamford Bridge could make sense for a variety of reasons.

The Chelsea boss is keen to add a striker and his club are interested in the Barcelona forward

The Chelsea boss is keen to add a striker and his club are interested in the Barcelona forward

They are looking to fill a void in attack after letting both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner leave

They are looking to fill a void in attack after letting both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner leave

Aubameyang is Gabon's record goalscorer and is proven at finding the back of the net

Aubameyang is Gabon’s record goalscorer and is proven at finding the back of the net

Aubameyang would link up with Tuchel again, with the pair having previously worked together at Borussia Dortmund.

The duo developed a positive relationship and the opportunity to add a proven goalscorer would appeal to the German.

Aubameyang netted 79 goals in 95 appearances under Tuchel at Dortmund and the German speaks in glowing terms about the forward.

When asked about the transfer links with the 33-year-old last week, Tuchel refused to shut down the rumours.

He said: ‘This is totally separate from anything that is happening now, but I enjoyed a lot working with Auba while I was at Dortmund.

‘Some players stay your players because you were very, very close. And Auba is one of those players.

‘There was always straight away this close bond. They always stay your players in a way.’

Gabon’s all-time record goalscorer would also be returning to familiar surroundings after scoring 92 goals in 163 games while at Arsenal from 2018-2022.

The forward would also reportedly prefer a move to Chelsea over United if he was to leave the Nou Camp.

Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz have both looked bright, but are yet to add a goal or an assist

Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz have both looked bright, but are yet to add a goal or an assist

Barcelona beat Chelsea to numerous signings this summer, including ex-Leeds star Raphinha

Barcelona beat Chelsea to numerous signings this summer, including ex-Leeds star Raphinha

However, there are question marks about spending a relatively large fee on a 33-year-old, particularly if it resulted in boosting the coffers of a club who beat Chelsea in signing a number of their transfer targets this summer.

The Blues missed out on Jules Kounde and Raphinha, while the Spanish giants also chased Cesar Azpilicueta until he signed a new Blues deal and have an interest in Marcos Alonso. 

Similarly, Aubameyang struggled during his last year at Arsenal, scoring just five times in his last 20 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.

The aforementioned fall-out with Arteta raises question marks about his attitude, as the Arsenal manager stripped Aubameyang of the captaincy for various disciplinary breaches before allowing him to leave on a free transfer.

Nevertheless, if Chelsea continue to struggle in front of goal, the option to bring in a proven scorer and someone who has a great relationship with the abrasive Tuchel may be an opportunity they can’t refuse.

Reignite stuttering United?

Erik ten Hag is desperate for new signings after United’s disastrous start to the season.

The Red Devils have also missed out on numerous targets throughout the summer, while the saga over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future continues to become more and more toxic.

The club are eager to add a striker, with Anthony Martial having missed their opening two defeats and Ten Hag now reportedly happy to let Ronaldo go.

They have been linked with several forwards, including Mauro Icardi, Marko Arnautovic, Darwin Nunez, Benjamin Sesko and Jamie Vardy, but none of these deals have come to fruition.

Like Chelsea, the opportunity to sign a proven goalscorer is an enticing proposition, while for Aubameyang he would have the chance to play regular football.

United have been linked with a plethora of strikers this summer, including Marko Arnautovic

United have been linked with a plethora of strikers this summer, including Marko Arnautovic

Erik ten Hag is desperate to sign new players after his nightmare start at Old Trafford

Erik ten Hag is desperate to sign new players after his nightmare start at Old Trafford

The opportunity to rebuild a divided and demoralised United is something that could appeal.

However, at the stage of his career, would it make sense for the Gabon star to join a club that is in such turmoil on and off the pitch, and one that looked so devoid of ideas going forward in Saturday’s disastrous 4-0 defeat to Brentford.

There are several experienced attacking stars that have joined United and underperformed, despite excelling elsewhere, such as Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez.

United are guilty of signing a number of ageing forwards in recent years like Falcao (above)

United are guilty of signing a number of ageing forwards in recent years like Falcao (above)

For United, despite Aubameyang’s goalscoring credentials, they have been guilty of signing too many ageing and under-performing forwards like Falcao, Odion Ighalo and Edinson Cavani in recent years.

If they are really to build long-term with Ten Hag like the club claims to want to, they must bring in something who will fit the Dutchman’s system and grow with his team, rather than the quick fix that they have tried so many times before.

Coupled with Aubameyang’s preference for Stamford Bridge, a move to Old Trafford doesn’t make much sense for the player or club.

Stay at Barcelona and compete with Lewandowski?

Despite Aubameyang’s impressive form in the second half of last season, as the forward netted 13 times in just 18 starts, the Catalan club strengthened up-front with the signing of Robert Lewandowski for £42.5m this summer.

The Polish star started Saturday’s LaLiga opener with Rayo Vallecano and Aubameyang replaced Jordi Alba with just eight minutes to go.

Being demoted to second choice may give the forward food for thought regarding a departure.

However, unlike other players this window who are worried about a lack of playing time ahead of the 2022 World Cup, Aubameyang is in no rush to seek a move, after he retired from international duty last summer, while Gabon also didn’t qualify for Qatar.

Robert Lewandowski's arrival at Barcelona has pushed Aubameyang down the pecking order

Robert Lewandowski’s arrival at Barcelona has pushed Aubameyang down the pecking order

The forward said 'Barca is one of the best clubs in the world' at his unveiling in February

The forward said ‘Barca is one of the best clubs in the world’ at his unveiling in February

Barcelona boss Xavi has spent heavily this summer as he aims to take the club back to the top

Barcelona boss Xavi has spent heavily this summer as he aims to take the club back to the top

Similarly, the former Gunners star has rediscovered his golden touch in front of goal after a tumultuous ending at Arsenal, with his well-publicised fall-out with Arteta likely to have taken its toll.

The forward is also reportedly content at the Nou Camp, and upon arriving in January, highlighted how delighted he was to join the Spanish giants.

‘I’ve always dreamed of playing in LaLiga,’ he said at his unveiling.

‘This is an amazing opportunity for me, it’s been a dream since I was a kid and it’s an opportunity in my life. Barca is one of the best clubs in the world and I’m very happy to be here.’

Furthermore, such is the congested nature of the season with the World Cup on the horizon, and Barcelona’s return to the Champions League, he is still likely to feature heavily, especially with Lewandowski also being 33.

Despite the complicated financial situation at the club, Xavi has spent heavily and is determined to build something and take the club back to the top.

The Barcelona legend is also a huge fan of Aubameyang despite the speculation surrounding his future.

Speaking at a press conference last Friday, Xavi said: ‘I am counting on him (Aubameyang). I’m really delighted with him, he can help us.

‘Those I am not counting on already know, they know won’t play. Between now and 31 August, different things can happen, but I like Auba, he can help us.’

Would Aubameyang really want to give that all up and return to England after starting so well in Catalonia?



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