Barcelona are eager to bring in a new striker this month following the injury to Luis Suárez and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is thought to be their top target.
Suárez was forced to undergo surgery after suffering a knee injury and is not expected to return until April at the earliest.
Lionel Messi started up front in Quique Setién’s first game in charge, but club officials fear that they do not have enough cover behind Messi and Antoine Griezmann. As a result, they want a new high-profile striker, and Mundo Deportivo claim Aubameyang is at the top of their wish list.
Setién is even thought to have sought out club executives to request another striker and Barcelona have decided that they want an out-and-out striker rather than a winger or a false nine.
Unfortunately, that means there will be no repeat of the infamous Kevin-Prince Boateng signing. Yes, devastating.
Director of football Eric Abidal has been working tirelessly to identify potential signings this season. They were looking for a long-term replacement for Suárez even before his injury, but they have been forced to accelerate things.
Abidal is said to have been most impressed with Aubameyang, who has fired 14 goals in 22 appearances for a struggling Arsenal side this season.
However, there is an acceptance that signing Aubameyang would be a tough task. Arsenal would demand a huge fee to sell in the winter window, and Barcelona aren’t exactly blessed with infinite transfer funds these days.
The Gunners don’t want to lose Aubameyang as he is pretty much the only player stopping them slipping further down the table, and they don’t want to anger fans by allowing their star player to walk away.
Barcelona hope that Aubameyang will make life easier by publicly revealing his desire to leave, but that is by no means a guarantee.
As a result, they are considering other options. Valencia’s Rodrigo, Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and Napoli’s Fernando Llorente have all been discussed, but the club would obviously prefer to recruit Aubameyang.
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