With Barcelona scouring the market for a new striker ahead of the summer transfer window, a familiar name in the form of Chelsea outcast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been doing the rounds quite a bit of late.
The 33-year-old spent the second half of the last season at Barcelona and played an important role in the team’s resurgent run under Xavi Hernandez. However, the club’s financial situation forced them to sell him to Chelsea last summer for a fee of €12 million.
Aubameyang has endured a torrid time back in London and has been pushing for a potential return to Barça since the January transfer window. A move back then did not materialise as RFEF rules prevented the transfer.
Heading into the summer, though, Aubameyang is once again being looked at as a serious possibility by Barcelona, reports SPORT.
Vitor Roque remains the top priority to reinforce the frontline at Camp Nou. However, his asking price is on a constant rise amid interest from the Premier League, forcing Barça to look at other options, considering their Financial Fair Play issues.
Aubameyang, to that end, is seen as a good, stop-gap solution for a year by the La Liga leaders. The striker has already proven himself at Barcelona and is a popular figure in the dressing room while he is also said to have a good relationship with Xavi.
But, for Aubameyang to secure a return to Barcelona, the club have told his entourage that he will need to make financial sacrifices.
Indeed, it is being claimed that the former Arsenal captain will have to reduce his current wages by almost 50% if he wishes to join the Blaugrana. And, Aubameyang is understood to be willing to accept such a big salary reduction.
But the main point remains that Barcelona will consider signing their former striker only for zero cost – either on loan or if he arrives with a letter of freedom.
However, Chelsea are hoping to receive some fee for their out-of-favour striker, and clubs like Inter Milan are willing to pay.
As things stand, Roque remains Barcelona’s priority target. But if his signing becomes difficult, Aubameyang’s chances of a possible return will increase. However, it will not be straightforward and there will be some major hurdles along the way.