Barcelona have reportedly been caught by surprise that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has turned up in Spain looking to complete a move from Arsenal before the January transfer window closes.
The news circulated on social media earlier today that Aubameyang had already arrived in Barcelona ahead of finalising a loan move to the La Liga giants.
The 32-year-old is thought to be inching ever close to the Arsenal exit doors after being frozen out by Mikel Arteta following his latest disciplinary breach, which also culminated in the forward being stripped of his captaincy at the club earlier this campaign.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano confirmed in a tweet that Aubameyang was in Barcelona, but mentioned any potential transfer “depends on Barcelona outgoings to complete the deal”, none of which have happened thus far, though there is a growing expectation that Ousmane Dembele could leave.
It only depends on Barcelona outgoings to complete the deal. Arsenal already approved. pic.twitter.com/UBc6UJA3a0
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 31, 2022
Despite claims that Aubameyang is in Spain, CBS Sports have reported that both Arsenal and Barcelona have been caught completely off guard that the player is allegedly in the country, drawing distinct parallels to a certain transfer saga that involved Peter Odemwingie, a car park and a failed transfer nearly a decade ago.
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The former West Brom and Stoke City forward famously turned up at QPR’s training complex on deadline day in January 2013 hoping to complete a move to the London club, having travelled down from the Midlands to facilitate a deal.
He even gave an interview to reporters in which he said he was “optimistic” a deal would be struck between the two clubs, but it ultimately fell through, leaving the ex-Nigeria international red-faced and this story forever enshrined in football folklore.
Could we get a repeat? Well there are some suggestions the deal could now be off with The Athletic reporting that talks between Aubameyang and Barca have broken down over issues regarding salary.
Odemwingie even got involved with the drama, jokingly tweeting out to Aubameyang whether he should hand him his ‘longest drive’ trophy with the caption: “Am I passing the award on? Aubameyang just make sure you ask Aguero for advice.”