Chelsea transfer news: Aubameyang discussions reach ‘advanced’ stage, as Blues player holds exit meeting

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele

Negotiations between Chelsea and Barcelona over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are now ‘advanced’, according to a report, while a separate source has given an update on a Blues departure.

Thomas Tuchel wants a new striker to arrive at Stamford Bridge this month following Romelu Lukaku’s loan back to Inter Milan. And his former Borussia Dortmund player Aubameyang is the top target.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona want £25million for the former Arsenal captain. That is despite him joining them on a free transfer from Arsenal at the end of January.

The reason Barca can charge such a fee for a 33-year-old player is because Aubameyang’s contract at the Nou Camp has three years left to run.

Manchester United recently entered the race to bring him back to the Premier League. However, Chelsea are in pole position to complete a deal. As such, United look set to admit defeat and pursue other forwards.

Sky Sports provide the update on the Aubameyang talks. They reveal these discussions are now in an ‘advanced’ stage, with an agreement between Chelsea and Barca close.

Tuchel’s side have managed to bring Barca down from their £25m asking price, but not by much. Sky Sports state the transfer will cost Chelsea between £15m and £25m.

Both sides are hopeful of getting the deal over the line in the next few days. It would solve Chelsea’s striker problem and improve Barca’s poor financial situation at the same time.

Chelsea supporters may have a few concerns about Aubameyang arriving in west London. He can be disruptive in the changing room and be late to training or matches. Disciplinary issues were the main reason Mikel Arteta took the Arsenal captaincy off him.

Plus, Aubameyang is now 33. This means he is certainly not a long-term striker fix for Chelsea. They will probably have to spend more money on a younger forward when Aubameyang reaches 35 or 36.

While the Gabon international is due to join Chelsea in the next week or so, a current player could leave.

Aubameyang in, Ziyech out for Chelsea

As per Romano, Hakim Ziyech has held a meeting with Ajax director Klaas-Jan Huntelaar over a potential move back to the Dutch side. He was a player there between August 2016 and July 2020.

There is direct contact between Chelsea and Ajax over the winger as Tuchel is happy for him to go. This has been the case since May, Romano claims.

Ajax view Ziyech as a potential replacement for Brazilian attacker Antony. He is a prime target for Manchester United and was recently left out of the Ajax squad for their 1-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam.

If Antony ends up leaving for Old Trafford, then Ajax will firm up their interest in Ziyech and make an offer.

Chelsea will be happy to get some money back for the 29-year-old. But they will undoubtedly take a hit on the Moroccan after buying him from Ajax for £33.3m (€40m) two years ago.

Ziyech clearly has natural talent and has scored some good goals for Chelsea as a result. However, he has failed to do this on a regular basis for them.

He has fallen down the pecking order this season and is yet to start a match in the Premier League during 2022-23.

Meanwhile, a Chelsea player has agreed personal terms with West Ham and is set to join the Irons for an initial £13m.