Arsenal fans can enjoy the fact that they’ll be one of the first teams back in action as the Premier League kicks off again tomorrow following its three-month suspension, but there may also be good news in the transfer market emerging.
While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s future remains very much up in the air, the Gunners can perhaps take some encouragement from the fact that the list of potential suitors for the Gabon international is getting shorter and shorter.
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Mauro Icardi recently joined Paris Saint-Germain permanently, Manchester United announced that they’d extended Odion Ighalo’s loan, and CaughtOffside understands Chelsea are set to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.
This doesn’t leave Aubameyang with many other options – Barcelona have been mentioned a few times by certain sections of the press, but CaughtOffside understands the Catalan giants are not currently considering that option as they focus on signing Inter Milan front-man Lautaro Martinez. Other big names such as Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus simply do not need him, and nor do Liverpool, who of course neglected to make a move for Werner.
If Martinez does leave Inter for Barca, that could be one destination for Aubameyang, with manager Antonio Conte favouring a front two for much of this season, giving the former Borussia Dortmund man the exciting potential opportunity to line up alongside Romelu Lukaku at the San Siro next season.
However, it is well documented that clubs are going to struggle to pay big transfer fees this summer due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with empty stadiums likely to be a common sight around the world for much of the next year or so.
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Aubameyang’s contract situation means he might be cheaper than most, but he turns 31 this month and in a post-COVID transfer market, that’s a risky investment to be making as the player will surely be approaching his decline soon enough, even if he remains a hugely important player for Arsenal and a top performer in the Premier League.
On a free next year, it might be a different story, but for now Aubameyang’s best hope of continuing to play at a high level might well be to stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Inter might well be a tempting destination, but are also not quite the step up one can imagine the Gunners captain having in mind. And Serie A is certainly not the Premier League in terms of its prestige or global appeal.
Arsenal fans would be wise not to get their hopes up about an imminent contract renewal, but even so, keeping a player of this quality for another season, with the 25-30 goals that he virtually guarantees possibly enough to make all the difference in the race for a Champions League place, they could be heading for a surprise win here.