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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Chelsea Hopeful of Sealing Aubameyang, De Jong Deal

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Chelsea are optimistic that a deal for the Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be reached as further talks are scheduled this week.

The 33-year-old former Arsenal captain is understood to be open to a move to Stamford Bridge but has not yet reached a decision on his future.

Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach, wants to be reunited with Aubameyang, with whom he worked at Borussia Dortmund, as he and the club’s interim sporting director, Todd Boehly, look to sign a striker before the transfer window closes on September 1.

Chelsea hope that Aubameyang will be part of a late flurry of signings that would include the Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana, the Everton forward Anthony Gordon and Frenkie de Jong, the Barcelona midfielder.

Barcelona are believed to value Aubameyang, who joined them on a free transfer in January, at £21 million and are looking to offload a forward this summer after signing Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.

Xavi Hernández, the head coach, does not want to lose Aubameyang and has told the Gabon forward that he is part of his plans, yet the Catalan club may look to cash in on an opportunity to reduce their inflated wage bill.

Aubameyang scored 13 goals in half a season last term but his cost to the club has increased because Arsenal supplemented his salary payments for only the first six months of his time at the Nou Camp.

Chelsea are hopeful that Aubameyang would be one of two signings from Barcelona this summer as the west London club remain confident of landing De Jong.

Agreeing a fee for the Holland midfielder has not been a concern but Barcelona was De Jong’s childhood club and he has been unwilling to leave. Barcelona have told the 25-year-old that he will have to take a salary cut, and threatened legal action, unless he departs.

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