- Aubameyang wants to return to Barcelona
- Angry Chelsea unwilling to sanction the move
- Striker will take a pay cut to secure exit
WHAT HAPPENED? The Blues spent £10 million ($12m) in a deal to sign the Gabonese striker last summer, a move that saw Marcos Alonso head in the opposite direction. Aubameyang has, however, failed to live up to expectations at Stamford Bridge, scoring three times in 18 appearances across all competitions, and finds himself low down the pecking order under Graham Potter. According to SPORT, the 33-year-old is desperate to return to Camp Nou to revive his career but Chelsea are not going to make it easy for him. Indeed, it has been reported that club management were left angered by Aubameyang's visit to Camp Nou to watch Barca's Clasico win over Real Madrid before the international break.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea did get offers from the MLS for Aubameyang in January but a transfer ultimately did not materialise. The option of a potential contract termination is not believed to be realistic, as Chelsea are convinced they will get offers for Aubameyang - whose contract runs until 2024 - in the summer. It is reported that Inter are keen to sign him but the player's preferred choice remains Barcelona.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Aubameyang is reportedly ready to take a pay cut to join Barca as the Catalans are struggling to meet the FFP regulations set by La Liga. Barcelona are also aware that Chelsea are tough negotiators, given their experience with the transfer of Alonso in the summer, as they had to wait until deadline day to get the deal over the line.
IN A PHOTO:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR AUBAMEYANG & BARCELONA? The forward will hope that Potter will give him an opportunity when Chelsea face Aston Villa on Saturday, although that scenario remains unlikely, with Aubameyang having not played for the Blues since February. Barcelona, meanwhile, will return to action against Elche in La Liga.