Rumours from the 2021 summer transfer window about Barcelona going after Arsenal’s captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have resurfaced again. The striker is said to remain a target for the Catalan giants for the winter transfer window of 2021, per International Business Times.
New reports, however, now place Manchester City as Barcelona’s competition for the Gabonese striker’s signature. It remains to be said about who will eventually get Aubameyang if he chooses to leave Arsenal, however, due to the wages he demands.
Barcelona’s attackers have suffered fitness issues this season. Sergio Aguero will be out for a few months as doctors monitor his heart condition to determine if he’ll ever play football professionally again. Ansu Fati suffered another injury that’ll keep him out for a few more weeks after only returning following a lengthy lay-off.
Luuk De Jong is not a favourite of Xavi Hernandez, having only been brought to the club on Ronald Koeman’s behest, and Martin Braithwaite is another striker who may not be getting as much playing time under Xavi Hernandez when he returns from his lengthy injury layoff.
This is why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s name has come up once again as a striker option for Barcelona, as reports claim that Xavi is monitoring the striker’s situation at Arsenal.
Xavi already has an opinion on Aubameyang
The rumours of Aubameyang to Barcelona have been circulating for the better part of two seasons, and Xavi weighed in on the matter while he was still manager at Qatari side Al-Sadd.
Speaking on the rumours then which linked both Aubameyang and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane to Barcelona, Xavi said, “Mane and Aubemayang can kill you in open space. But Barcelona needs players who know how to move in small spaces.”
“I am thinking about a player who would adapt to Barcelona and it’s not easy to find one.”
It is left to the imagination to figure out if Xavi has changed his mind on Aubameyang being the kind of player that fits Barcelona’s profile, or if these reports are only resurfacing due to the issues surrounding Barcelona’s attack right now.
Barcelona to face fierce competition from Manchester City
Aubameyang currently has one year left on his Arsenal contract and earns £12.58 million annually. Barcelona are reportedly willing to take the risk to bring him to Camp Nou but will be facing competition from Manchester City owners, City Football Group, who can easily match his wages.
The Aubameyang deal will cost any club €20 million, but it remains to see if Arsenal will be willing to part with the striker whose form has improved after a turbulent 2020/21 season.
He only just recovered from injury himself and could prove to be risky business for Barcelona, who are reportedly only considering the striker due to the many injuries to their forward line.