Chelsea have entered the race to sign Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. In a twist of plot the Blues have emerged as a serious contender for the signature of the Gabon international, amid uncertainties over the players long-term commitment at London rivals Arsenal.
Players moving for free among London clubs has happened on a number of occasions. Sol Campbell left Spurs to join Arsenal on a free in 2002. Ashley Cole also left the Gunners to join the Blues while William Gallas moved the opposite direction. Petr Cech and David Luiz have also swapped clubs within London recently.
Aubameyang will be out of contract in summer 2021 as it stands, and as yet there has been little to no progress on an extension to his current deal.
The player has always admitted publicly that he is committed to the North London side, but the lack of headway on extension talks have continued to generate rumours about the players future.
The situation of the player is forcing the club to make a decision on the player this summer. Arsenal are now prepared to sell him in the summer as they don’t want to see him leave the club for free next summer.
Barcelona are the only contender with genuine intent to sign the player. During the winter transfer window, Barcelona legend Xavi was asked about Aubameyang, the former midfielder stated that the Gabonese has proven himself to be a top striker and Barca will do well to get him to Camp Nou. Xavi’s statement about the Arsenal captain raised eyebrows, as the former playmaker was seen as a potential replacement for the departing Ernesto Valverde.
The Blaugrana made a move for the player during the January transfer window, but no deal materialized. Alongside Chelsea, Barcelona are expected to bid for the player during the summer transfer.