Report: Striker to leave Arsenal after manager fallout, Ousmane Dembele is key

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium by Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to leave Arsenal before the January transfer window shuts after falling out with Mikel Arteta. He was stripped of the captaincy and hasn’t played for the Gunners since early-December, so the writing is on the wall.

The 32-year-old has interest from Barcelona who want a loan deal until the end of the season, but Charlotte Daly of the Daily Mail says Ousmane Dembele will have to leave before they bring in another forward. If Dembele stays at the Camp Nou this month, Aubameyang won’t be signed.

The Gabon international joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and has gone on to make 163 appearances in all competitions, scoring 92 goals with 21 assists. Aubameyang has made 15 appearances across the board this season, scoring seven goals with two assists, but it doesn’t appear he’ll add to that tally.

Arteta has used Alexandre Lacazette up front since Aubameyang fell out of favour and is trying to sign Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, so Arsenal will have cover for the unwanted 32-year-old.

Dembele is leaving Barcelona because his contract is up this summer and he’s refusing to sign a new deal. Barca don’t want to lose the 24-year-old on a free transfer in July, so they’re willing to cash in this month. But with the transfer window shutting on Monday evening, they’re running out of time.

Arsenal are desperate to get Aubameyang off their wage bill as he’s earning £350k-per-week. The Gunners could save themselves £7.5m if they offload him in the next 24 hours, but they need Dembele to do them a favour.

The 24-year-old has accused Barca of trying to blackmail him, so it doesn’t appear there’s any chance of a reprieve. He could be available for €20m (£16.6m) but would demand wages of more than £250k-per-week.