Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to agreeing a deal to leave Arsenal for Spanish giants Barcelona on loan until the end of the seasonaccording to reports.
Aubameyang started the current campaign as Gunners captain but has fallen out of favor under manager Mikel Arteta and now looks destined to leave.
Athletic’s claims that salary is the only major stumbling block remaining, with the two clubs deliberating over who covers what proportion of the strikers’ £350,000 weekly wages.
The deal would come with no option or obligation to buy, with Arsenal set to deal with the deal again this summer with Aubameyang’s contract expiring in 2023.
The Gabon international joined Arsenal in 2018 from Borussia Dortmund with a reputation as one of Europe’s top marksmen and won the Premier League Golden Boot in his first full season.
Named club captain under Arsene Wenger’s replacement Unai Emery, the 32-year-old impressed hugely after the arrival of Mikel Arteta in 2019, playing a key role in FA Cup and Community Shield victories.
However, a pair of disciplinary lapses in 2021 saw Arteta strip Aubameyang of the club’s captaincy, and he hasn’t featured since December 6.
The striker also suffered heart damage following a bout of Covid-19 but appears to have recovered after missing Gabon’s entire Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
That hasn’t deterred Barcelona, however, with manager Xavi Hernandez having a busy January transfer window.
The club have already snapped up Spanish international Ferran Torres from Manchester City and secured a loan deal for Wolves’ Adama Traore from Aubameyang who is set to be the club’s third winter arrival from England.
Arsenal have been far less busy than their Spanish counterparts when it comes to spending, seeing their squad weakened this month by a number of loan departures and no arrivals.
Athletic also report that there are not expected to be any entries to the Emirates before Monday’s deadline, although the club are targeting a return to Champions League football.
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