Graham Potter sack could cause Chelsea to keep forward Xavi would be ‘delighted’ to sign for Barcelona

Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Chelsea, October 2022

Chelsea forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is being linked with a return to Barcelona, but a report has hinted he could stay if Graham Potter loses his job.

Aubameyang joined Chelsea in September after a fruitful spell with Barcelona to reunite with Thomas Tuchel. The only problem was, Tuchel would end up getting the sack just a few days later. Aubameyang hasn’t been quite as popular under his replacement, Potter.

Over the winter, the 33-year-old was left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad list for the rest of the season. There were subsequently links with a move to the MLS, but Aubameyang did not feel ready for such a step.

By the summer, though, he will have to give his future further consideration. Leaving Chelsea one year before his contract is due to expire may be in his best interests.

In that regard, Aubameyang may become a target for Barcelona again after they previously saw him score 13 goals between February and September 2022.

Indeed, he recently visited the club to celebrate their win in El Clasico over Real Madrid. Soon, the players he was with could become his teammates.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona boss Xavi was “delighted” with Aubameyang’s impact before. Hence, it would be appealing for them to take him back.

Furthermore, it wouldn’t cost them too much to buy the former Arsenal captain. Given they have other areas they want to invest in, he could become a fitting solution as a depth piece in attack.

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However, the report has hinted that Aubameyang’s future at Chelsea may well depend on Potter’s. The 47-year-old has been under seemingly constant pressure since leaving Brighton to replace Tuchel.

Chelsea were beginning to get back on track before the international break. However, some questions are still lingering over their head coach.

Mundo Deportivo seems to imply that if Potter does not “continue” as manager, Aubameyang could “consider a second chance” at Chelsea.

Aubameyang should probably leave Chelsea in any case

After only scoring three goals in 18 games for them so far, though, he might have trouble winning over any coach at Chelsea. Barcelona would view him more favourably, in comparison.

Hence, Aubameyang and Barcelona are both said to be “open” to a reunion in the summer.

The report also confirms he remains in contact with former Borussia Dortmund teammate Ousmane Dembele, who remains a key player at Barcelona. Likewise, he could link up once again with Robert Lewandowski, another ex-colleague from his Bundesliga days.

If he does return to Barcelona, Aubameyang would also be more likely to have Champions League football on offer. After all, Xavi’s side are on course to win La Liga, whereas Chelsea are still down in 10th in the Premier League.

This seems to be the kind of move that would be best for all parties. But it isn’t close to being a done deal yet.