A forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang previously worked wonders alongside has had a move to Arsenal talked up following a telling contract update.
Since signing his most recent Arsenal contract in September, 2020, the form of Aubameyang has taken a startling dive. The Gabon superstar managed just 10 league goals last season at a ratio of just over one in three. His four goals in 13 matches this season suggest that ratio is now his new norm.
But with another 18 months remaining on his Emirates deal, Mikel Arteta must find a way to get the most out of his star striker.
Indeed, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both appear on course to leave in the coming windows. The attacking pair are both out of contract next summer and new deals don’t appear likely to be signed.
Now a report from Football London has breathed new life into a potential Ousmane Dembele to Arsenal deal.
The Frenchman has struggled with form and fitness since leaving Borussia Dortmund for Barcelona in 2017. But at 24, time is on his side to show he still has plenty left to give.
Best Aubameyang season came alongside Dembele
Dembele played his best football in Germany in the 2016-17 season when lining up alongside Aubameyang. The Gunners hitman plundered 31 goals in 32 Bundesliga matches that season as the pair struck up an impressive connection.
And citing a prior report from French outlet Le10Sport, Football London claim Aubameyang wanted to be reunited with Dembele upon committing his future to Arsenal in 2020.
That did not happen, though that scenario could unfold in 2022.
Dembele is in the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou and talks over a new deal appear strained. Indeed, club president Joan Laporta recently said: “Dembélé’s renewal is going slower than we wanted.
Dembele's pros and cons
Dembele could be available in January, but the winger comes with some hefty pros and cons.
“But we’re still working on it – we want Ousmane to stay, he could be a key player if we reach an agreement.”
Barca boss Xavi is understood to wish to retain Dembele’s services. But while a new deal remains unsigned, the prospect of Aubameyang being partnered with his preferred option in 2022 cannot be discounted.
Barcelona impose two-week Dembele deadline
Meanwhile, According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca chiefs have now taken action by imposing a final two-week deadline for him to finalise his choice.
Indeed, the club want an official decision by December 15 to give them time to prepare for his potential exit. In their eyes Dembele has every intention of staying at Barcelona and signing a new deal.
It is his agent that is slowing down the talks and causing Barcelona major frustration, the report adds.
The La Liga side suspect the representative, Moussa Sissoko, of offering his client to the highest bidder. He has also supposedly delayed talks by continually asking for clarification about Dembele’s role at the club.
As such, Barcelona are growing tired and want a final decision from the player and his agent in two weeks.
Along with Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United are touted as potential suitors. Liverpool have also been namechecked in recent weeks given the impending absences of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to ACFON 2021.