Barcelona are keeping tabs on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. They are set to move for the Gunners striker if they cannot land their main target.
The Daily Mail claim that Aubameyang is Barca’s ‘Plan B’ if they do not sing Inter’s Lautaro Martinez.
According to the report, if the Spanish giants do land Martinez, then Aubameyang could well be his replacement in Italy.
This comes in the same week that Aubameyang’s strike partner Alexandre Lacazette was also linked to the Italian side.
Inter will not sell for less than Martinez’s £98 million release clause. The coronavirus means that Barcelona may not be able to afford this.
So if they do not manage to pull off a deal, they will instead move for Gunners frontman Aubameyang.
While his age profile is not ideal for the Catalans, he is expected to be available on the cheap as he is entering the final year of his contract.
Cash in now or lose for nothing later
Aubameyang has still not extended his contract, which ends in 2021.
Recent reports suggest that Arsenal may be willing to let him go this summer if a suitable offer comes in, rather than lose him for nothing next year.
Many believe that a big rebuild is necessary under Mikel Arteta, so funds will be needed to do so.
However, now that broadcasters are holding back on their demands for payment from Premier League clubs, there could be more cash available to do business in the next transfer window.
Aubameyang is by far Arsenal’s most important player, and hopes of a top 4 finish next season largely rest on his shoulders.
If he leaves for only £20 million, there is no way that a capable replacement can be bought for the same sum.
If he does stay for one more season, there is a chance that he can help deliver Champions League football in 2021/22.
By then, Gabriel Martinelli could be ready to make the step up and become a top player.
He has the potential to be a world-class striker, so another year learning from Aubameyang would benefit him.
It seems obvious that unless Arsenal can get a massive fee for Aubameyang, the best option is to try and keep him.
A good fit in Spain
If the Gabon international does move to the Camp Nou, he will likely be a success.
Yes, he is 30-years-old.
But the level of his speed means that he could lose a yard of pace and still be one of the world’s fastest players.
So he will probably deteriorate at a slower rate than regular players. This means that Barca could still get a good few years out of him if he moves this summer.
His versatility means that he can rotate with Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann in the front three.
No matter where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ends up, he can still deliver for a number of years.