Arsenal could be offered a way out of their Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang predicament – with Barcelona floating a swap deal idea involving Ousmane Dembele.
Aubameyang has been the subject of plenty of discussion this week with Mikel Arteta removing the captaincy from his striker, following a disciplinary issue last week. The forward missed the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Southampton at the weekend and is said to be desperate to leave the club.
The Independent claim, however, that Barcelona are ready to rekindle a long-held interest in the Gabonese goalscorer and that they could well circumvent their financial issues by offering Ousmane Dembele as collateral.
Dembele is yet to sign a new deal with the Catalan club and is available for nothing in the summer. With the Frenchman failing to impress since his nine-figure arrival in the wake of Neymar’s exit to PSG, Arsenal could be the perfect place to get his career back on track.
Dembele and Aubameyang actually have shared history, too.
The pair were both in the same Borussia Dortmund side; Dembele spent a single season in the Bundesliga after joining from Rennes, with both players recruited by famed German scout Sven Mislintat. The duo were prolific together – and now could well swap places.
Arsenal were said to be interested in Dembele before he made his mammoth move to Barcelona. The Gunners could use the World Cup winner on either flank or as a false nine, utilising his two-footedness in a more fluid attack than they currently have.
Barca meanwhile need someone to stretch play for them with new boss Xavi stressing the importance of Dembele publicly – but said to be resigned to losing him privately.
Aubameyang would be the perfect replacement for the recently-retired Sergio Aguero and would be able to stretch defences with his runs and movements beyond the defence. Given that he can also operate on the left, he offers plenty of versatility to the Camp Nou outfit.