Over the past few days, there has been a lot of chatter in the media about the future of Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The 33-year-old arrived at Camp Nou only during the January transfer window earlier this year, joining on a free transfer after Arsenal terminated his contract. He quickly became an integral part of the team and played a key role in Barça finishing second in La Liga last season.
Aubameyang ended the 2021/22 campaign as the Catalans’ joint top-scorer despite having been at the club for less than six months. However, with Robert Lewandowski now joining the Blaugrana from Bayern Munich, the ex-Arsenal captain is no longer the first-choice striker.
And, Premier League giants Chelsea are hoping to capitalise on the situation by luring Aubameyang away from Camp Nou.
The Blues are keen on signing a new No. 9 and their manager, Thomas Tuchel, is keen on the 33-year-old, having worked with him at Borussia Dortmund. To that end, Chelsea are said to be preparing an offer to sign Aubameyang.
However, according to AS journalist Javi Miguel, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez does not want Aubameyang to leave the club ‘under any circumstances’.
The 42-year-old tactician is reportedly intent on keeping hold of the former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund striker. Instead, he wants the club to part ways with Martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay and Ez Abde to trim down their bloated attacking department.
Aubameyang has proven his worth at Barça in a short time. Considering the lofty ambitions that the Blaugrana have, quality depth in the squad across all areas will be critical and retaining the 33-year-old to compete with and cover for Lewandowski will hold the club in good stead.
Aubameyang still has three years left on his current contract with Barcelona and has shown no indication that he is considering a return to London. And with Xavi also intent on keeping hold of the 33-year-old, an exit seems extremely unlikely.