Barcelona are plotting an audacious move to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on loan this month.
The Liga champions have long been linked with a move for Arsenal’s captain, who is now into the final 18 months of his contract in north London.
And after a meeting of the club’s sports commission, Goal is able to confirm that landing the Gabon international is now being viewed as a priority before the end of the January transfer window.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, CEO Oscar Grau, director of football Eric Abidal, technical secretary Ramon Planes and head coach Quique Setien all agreed during talks on Monday night that a striker must be brought in to cover for the injured Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan will be out of action for four months having undergone an operation on an injury to the lateral meniscus in his right knee and Aubameyang - who was the joint top scorer in the Premier League last season along with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah - tops their list of targets.
But the Catalan giants are set to be left disappointed as they are hoping to convince the Gunners to accept a six-month loan deal for their leading scorer before making a permanent move for Inter striker Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season.Getty Images
That offer will likely be greeted with an angry response from the hierarchy at Emirates Stadium, who have not yet given up hope of convincing Aubameyang to put pen to paper on a new contract in north London.
Aubameyang said: "I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media. 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, who has scored 16 goals in 26 games this season, is currently serving a three-match suspension after being sent off in Arsenal’s draw at Crystal Palace and will miss Tuesday night’s game at Chelsea.