Chelsea and Barcelona have come to an agreement for the transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to reports. With negotiations now at a ‘very advanced’ stage, the teams are thought to be optimistic that it can all be sewn up over the next few hours.
Aubameyang only joined Barcelona back in February after a spat with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta saw him shipped out of north London. His scoring rate was impressive during the second half of last season, bagging 11 goals in 17 La Liga matches.
But the arrival of Robert Lewandowski and the financial difficulties that have come with a raft of new signings leaves Barca in need of cash and space on the wage bill. Aubameyang could therefore be on his way back to the Premier League with Chelsea crying out for an experienced, orthodox striker.
According to Relevo, the Blues and Barca have now reached an agreement for the 33-year-old in a deal initially worth £18.5million, with the total package coming in at almost £23m.
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A new-look attacking trio of Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz has failed to strike fear into opponents so far this campaign. Armando Broja can provide a more traditional central option from the bench but he wasn’t even chosen as part of the matchday squad at Elland Road.
Broja was linked to a host of clubs earlier this summer, including West Ham and Real Madrid. It remains to be seen whether Tuchel will change his tune and facilitate his exit if Aubameyang completes his move to Stamford Bridge, as expected. The Gabonese forward and the Chelsea boss have already worked together at Borussia Dortmund, where Aubameyang enjoyed one of the most prolific spells of his career.
“You’d have to say he’d improve the team at the moment because [Aubameyang] is a renowned goal scorer,” former Blues star Jody Morris told Stadium Astro. “I think he would function more as a No 9, I don’t think you’d find him out wide or playing on the left like he did quite a few times for Arsenal.
“I think if Chelsea were to sign him they’d want him to operate down the middle. I’m not sure if there are others out there or whether that’s the one they’re doing for, but they definitely need something.”