After returning late from a trip abroad and subsequently being left out of December’s match against Southampton for disciplinary reasons, a January transfer has seemed a real possibility for Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Having been stripped of the captaincy following that transgression, the Gabon international hasn’t played a single minute for the Gunners, leaving many to speculate about his future during this window.
At 32, the next move for Aubameyang may prove to be his final big-money contract so if he is to leave North London, he’ll want to ensure he makes the right move financially as well as securing more playing time following his fall-out with Arteta.
A handful of former clubs including Monaco, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan may be interested in his signature, but we take a look at the dream, realistic and wildcard scenarios as to where the striker may find himself following the January window.
“We are back as big players in the market” declared Barcelona president Joan Laporta following the recent arrival of Ferran Torres from Manchester City.
While the financial situation remains unclear at Camp Nou, alongside their adherence to La Liga’s registration rules, what is clear is that Laporta and the club hierarchy remain bullish about being able to attract top talent to Camp Nou and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang certainly falls into that category.
With the news that Sergio Aguero has been forced into early retirement, Blaugrana will surely be looking to add more firepower to their frontline this January and the prospect of helping to develop some of the Catalonian’s incredible young talent may appeal to the 32 year old forward.
Aubameyang’s wage demands may prevent a deal from occurring, but should Arsenal feel desperate to offload their former captain, perhaps they could be willing to allow Barcelona into a cut-price loan deal if there aren’t many options left by the end of January.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang club after January transfer window odds (via Paddy Power)
Although his future at Arsenal looks to be very much in the balance, the question remains to be whether any team can actually afford to take Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on this January.
With 18 months left to run on what is likely to be one of the highest-earning contracts at the North London club, his rumoured wage of approximately £350,000 a week may be enough to deter any potential suitors in this particular window.
What’s more, the forward is currently away from his club on international duty with Gabon at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, which could make communication between clubs and player more difficult.
The biggest clubs tend to do less business during January and since Aubameyang wouldn’t necessarily been seen as a potential target until December’s fall-out with Arteta, he’s unlikely to be on too many shortlists this time around.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Arsenal career by numbers so far:
One team who certainly wouldn’t face any issues in the cash department are Newcastle United and the Magpies may be set to spend some serious money this January to try and avoid an embarrassing relegation into the Championship.
With the news that Callum Wilson is set for yet another spell on the sidelines, the need to bring in a striker is rather desperate at St James’ Park and a move for Aubameyang would be a sensational one that would certainly worry the Tyneside club’s relegation rivals.
Although the thought of potentially falling into the Championship may put Aubameyang off joining permanently, a loan deal could work for all parties, allowing Arsenal to get him off the wage bill, Newcastle to significantly strengthen their side and Aubameyang to get playing time he’ll be craving after being sidelined at the Emirates Stadium.
The now cash-rich Magpies would certainly see the signing of a striker with such a phenomenal record in front of goal as a real statement of intent.