Barcelona’s director of football Eric Abidal has admitted that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on his list of striker targets.
The Arsenal forward has been name checked by Abidal, as well as Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and Napoli forward Fernando Llorente.
Arsenal were braced for a transfer move from Barca last month with The Telegraph reporting that Barcelona were on the search for a new striker with Luis Suarez currently sidelined with a knee injury that will keep him out of action until April at the earliest.
The move never materialised, but after an interview with Catalan paper Sport via Sport Witness, Abidal made it pretty clear that the Gunners frontman is still firmly on the club’s radar.
“There is a list with players like Giroud, Llorente or Aubameyang, but for one thing or another we decided not to sign. We believe it is the best for the club,” said Abidal.
Asked specifically about Aubameryang, he said: “I know him. I do not have much to do beyond sports. He has a profile that has depth.
“He is important, and in his team he is decisive. It is good to bring this profile of player who can be in the market and can help you. We’ll see what will happen.”
Aubameyang has hit 57 goals in 92 Arsenal appearances since joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2017 and in January writing in his programme notes ahead of the FA Cup third-round clash with Leeds, the Gabon striker insisted he was staying put.
“I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media,” he wrote.
“People like making up stories and they should focus on what’s happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in!
“I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs.”
Aubameyang apparently scrapped negotiations over a new contract at the end of November though, according to The Times and Barcelona’s calls may just become a bit louder as the season goes one.
“It is logical that in summer a ‘9’ will come. It is a necessity. We know that Suarez will come back strong, but you have to bring a top player in the summer,” added Abidal.
“We do not know if it will be young or experienced. We only look at the talent and adaptation they may have. We must think that some top players have come and have not adapted well.”