Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sometimes tumultuous career at Arsenal is over after the club confirmed on Tuesday he left by mutual consent, paving the way for an expected move to Spanish giants Barcelona on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old striker has not played for Arsenal since December after manager Mikel Arteta sacked him as captain over a ‘disciplinary offence’. The Gabon international was also sent home at the start of his Africa Cup of Nations campaign after the Gabonese Football Federation said heart damage was discovered during tests carried out in Cameroon following a positive COVID-19 test.
“We wish Auba the best for the next chapter of his career and thank him for his contribution to the club,” Arsenal said in a statement posted on their website. Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund four years ago and was former manager Arsene Wenger’s latest signing.
He immediately became a fan favorite and scored 92 goals in 163 games for the club. One of his moments of glory was captaining Arsenal to their 14th FA Cup crown in 2020, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Chelsea, after also netting a brace against Manchester City in the semi-finals.
Aubameyang scored 22 league goals in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns but could only collect 10 league strikes the following term as Arsenal finished eighth. After a long saga of drawn-out contracts, Arsenal tied Aubameyang to a new three-year contract in 2020, much to the delight of Gunners fans, who desperately wanted the striker to stay put.
But things have turned sour for Aubameyang this season, so much so that one of the club’s most prized assets was allowed to leave free of charge with 18 months remaining on his contract. According to Sky Sports, Aubameyang trained with Barcelona on Tuesday after flying to the Spanish city on Monday.
On Tuesday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said: “We will introduce Adama Traore tomorrow and, if everything goes well, we will also introduce Aubameyang.” Barcelona have been looking to rebuild since Lionel Messi left for Paris St Germain and the Catalan club sit fifth in the La Liga table, 15 points behind leaders and rivals Real Madrid.
In a quest to bolster their attacking options, Barca have signed Spanish striker Ferran Torres https://www.Reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/barcelona-sign-spanish-forward-torres-man-city-2021-12 -28 from Manchester City for around 55 million euros ($61.34 million) as they also took Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Traore club-barcelona-on-loan-idUKKBN2K30F0 on loan. The club also attempted to offload French winger Ousmane Dembele, who hasn’t played since losing the Super Cup to Real Madrid earlier this month.
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