Chelsea are reportedly only a matter of ‘days away’ from pulling off a surprise transfer for Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. A deal to see the ex-Arsenal captain head to Stamford Bridge for a fee in the region of £25million is said to be getting closer and there’s a chance Marcus Alonso could even be included within negotiations as a potential makeweight.
The Blues remain in the market for further firepower having allowed Romelu Lukaku rejoin Inter Milan on loan and Timo Werner return to RB Leipzig on a permanent basis this summer. The west London club’s search for attacking reinforcements has now seen their attention turn to Aubameyang – a player Blues boss Thomas Tuchel knows well from the pair’s Borussia Dortmund days.
With Tuchel himself having reportedly held positive talks with Aubameyang over a potential move back to the Premier League, Chelsea officials are understood to have met with the Gabonese goal-getter on Thursday to iron out an agreement over personal terms. It appears all went well on that front as, according to Sport, Aubameyang is now expected to complete a transfer to Stamford Bridge over the next few days.
Chelsea are understood to be willing to meet Barcelona’s £25million valuation of the forward as the cash-strapped Catalan club seek to ease some of their crippling financial constraints. Barca boss Xavi is thought to appreciate Aubameyang and is keen to retain the former Premier League Golden Boot winner, however the club’s urgent need for money has made a deal all the more appetising.
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Like Tuchel, Xavi is believed to have spoken with Aubameyang regarding his future and it is thought a decision over a move to Chelsea rests solely on the striker’s shoulders. Despite being happy in Barcelona, the ex-Gunner is said to have acknowledged the arrival of Robert Lewandowski to the Nou Camp is likely to see his game-time reduced, while joining the Blues offers a number of tempting benefits.
In addition to regular first-team football, the 33-year-old is set for a bumper pay rise. The forward will also be able to satisfy his craving for Champions League football at Stamford Bridge – a key factor in his decision to snub Manchester United’s recent advances.
While Chelsea are thought to be willing to pay £25m for the striker, there’s a possibility the structure of the transfer could change. The Spanish outlet add that Blues left-back Alonso – a player who Barcelona have been pushing to sign all summer – could also be included in a deal as a potential makeweight.
The Blaugrana have so far failed in their attempts to conclude a deal for the 31-year-old, who is desperate to join the Spanish giants. While Barcelona value the defender at £8.5m, Chelsea are said to be continuing to hold out for a fee in the region of £12.7m. The inclusion of Alonso in a deal for Aubameyang could therefore be of benefit to all parties.
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