Premier League • England

Arsenal given chance to snatch Chelsea target in clever Aubameyang solution

Ousmane Dembele, Jules Kounde Barcelona v Sevilla March 2021

Arsenal could consider swapping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Ousmane Dembele after Barcelona expressed an interest in the former captain, according to a report.

Aubameyang has been removed from his role as Arsenal captain following another disciplinary breach. He is also being kept away from matchday squads at present. Mikel Arteta has not been able to confirm whether the striker has played his last game for the club.

The Gabon international was the subject of a transfer saga in the summer of 2020. At the time, he only had a year left to run on his contract, which he eventually extended.

Arsenal have not seen the reward they wanted since. Now, after his latest issue, he could be under the transfer spotlight again in January.

Although he remains under contract until 2023, his decline on and off the pitch means a sale is now something Arsenal must reflect on.

One option they could have in mind is a swap deal with Barcelona. According to the Independent, intermediaries have suggested the idea of Arsenal taking Dembele in return for Aubameyang.

Barcelona need a new centre-forward due to Sergio Aguero’s imminent retirement. They have an interest in Aubameyang. They may struggle to fund a deal, though. Therefore, a swap may be the only way around it.

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Dembele is someone they are willing to sacrifice. His contract situation is even more pressing due to his terms running out at the end of the season. January is their last chance to recoup a fee for a player who cost them a fortune in 2017.

The Premier League has looked likely to be Dembele’s next destination for a while. However, the main suitors have been Chelsea and Manchester United.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal will join the race after being offered the Frenchman’s services. He would not be a like-for-like replacement for Aubameyang. But each club may benefit from taking the other’s player.

Barcelona have Aubameyang alternative despite Dembele idea

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clapping

The question will be whether Barcelona can afford Aubameyang’s wages, which he does not want to lower. Dembele earns a similar amount to him, though, so there could be space on the wage bill if they clear him out.

Even so, the Independent believe the easier option for Barcelona would be to focus on Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani.

Cavani is out of contract with Man Utd at the end of the season. He has had to settle for a lesser role so far in 2021-22. Therefore, his time at Old Trafford could be coming to an end.

Barcelona are admirers, even though he does not fit within their normal transfer policy. If they go down that route, it would shut off an option for Aubameyang.

If Arsenal are hoping to offload him, then, they may have to make a decision quickly on whether they want Dembele in return.

The 2018 World Cup winner has had his fair share of injury issues. However, if he can stay healthy, he would be an exciting addition to Arteta’s attack.

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