Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly set to undergo a medical in Barcelona after a deal was agreed over a late deadline-day move to the Catalan giants. The Gabon international’s future was placed in serious doubt last month after he was exiled by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta following a breach of discipline ahead of their home win over Southampton.
Aubameyang has not played for Arsenal in the weeks since and was said to have been made available for a move elsewhere earlier this month.
Barcelona were initially credited with an interest in his signature last week before entering talks with the north Londoners during the final hours of the January transfer window.
The 32-year-old bizarrely flew to the Spanish city earlier on Monday in an apparent bid to force through the move despite the absence of a total agreement at club level.
Arsenal and Barcelona were both said to have been left surprised by Aubameyang’s decision to fly out shortly before negotiations appeared to break down over the player’s lucrative wage demands.
However, it seems as though the proposed switch could finally be back on ahead of this evening’s 11pm deadline.
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Barcelona have pencilled in a late medical for Aubameyang, who is now expected to sign on the dotted line tonight, according to The Athletic.
The report claims that he will join the five-time European champions on an initial six-month move with the option of another year.
The deal, if completed in its entirety, will bring his four-year association with the Gunners to an abrupt end.
Xavi was said to have identified Aubameyang as his preferred attacking target last week and would like him to play as a central striker at the Nou Camp.
Juventus were also believed to have been in the frame for his services, but any move to Turin would have been dependent on Alvaro Morata leaving the club in advance of the deadline.
However, the former Chelsea striker is expected to remain at the club until at least the summer transfer window.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted earlier on Monday that he was confident of rubber-stamping a deal for Aubameyang before the end of the window.
“It seems that we will do it,” he told Spanish reporters, before adding: “We’ve still options open. We’re working on it and we will until the last minute.”
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Meanwhile, Arsenal icon Paul Merson recently admitted that his former club would reap the rewards of shifting Aubameyang’s wage bill from their books if a deal can be finalised this evening.
“I thought they might have been able to polyfill over the situation, if I’m being honest,” Merson told Sky Sports News.
“But that hasn’t happened and, I think, if you can get him off the wage bill, you have had a result.
“If it’s for six months, six months at £350,000 a week is a lot, a lot of money, so I think there might be a deal along the way, and I think even Aubameyang might have to swallow a couple of pounds here.”
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