Aubameyang was 'mentally beaten' by transfer rumours, says Dortmund president

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Reinhard Rauball has sympathy with the striker after repeatedly being linked with an exit and says that Ousmane Dembele has the capacity to be "sly"

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has struggled with the mental strain of being linked to blockbusting transfers, according to Borussia Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball.

Gabon striker Aubameyang has previously been touted for a move from Signal Iduna Park to Real Madrid – speculation he has inflamed on more than one occasion – while the Bundesliga's top scorer in 2016-17 was a reported target for AC Milan and pondered a switch to the Chinese Super League during the last transfer window.

Despite mixed form for Dortmund overall this season and the departure of head coach Peter Bosz, the 28-year-old has starred again with 21 goals across 23 games in all competitions.

"He has done well over the years and was even the Bundesliga top scorer," Rauball told Kicker.

"Auba is pleasant, funny, he laughs. That some days he was mentally beaten by the offers – you have to understand it if you know the numbers."

Rauball was less sympathetic towards Ousmane Dembele's conduct before the France winger moved to Barcelona for an initial €105m in August.

"I liked Dembele and I really regret that he is not at our club anymore," he said of a player who went AWOL from Dortmund training in an attempt to force through his Barcelona transfer.

"Dembele has something sly. He has another mentality to which we are not used to."

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