Aubameyang to join Barcelona on free transfer as Arsenal confirm exit

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been released on a free transfer by Arsenal ahead of his expected move to Barcelona, the Gunners confirmed on Tuesday.

Arsenal and Barcelona had been locked in talks over a potential loan deal for the 32-year-old over the weekend, only for them to break down on Monday afternoon.

However, in a dramatic turn of events, Aubameyang looks set for a switch to Camp Nou after all after ending his contract at Emirates Stadium by mutual consent.

What’s the latest?

Talks between Arsenal and Barcelona hit a major stumbling block on Monday over what percentage of the striker’s wages - believed to be in the region of £340,000 a week - the Spanish side would cover.

It looked like the 32-year-old, who flew out to Barcelona earlier in the day, would have to return to England without a deal being done.

However, an agreement has now been reached between the two clubs that will see the Gabon international join the five-time European champions permanently, with Arsenal confirming his release.

"Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left the club by mutual agreement," Arsenal revealed in a statement on Tuesday.

"We wish Auba all the best for the next chapter in his career and thank him for his contribution to the club."

Prior to the Gunners' farewell message, Aubameyang was spotting training with his new club on Tuesday despite Barca not having made an official announcement regarding his signing.

Sources at Arsenal insist the transfer is a ‘good deal’ for the club, despite the fact the Gunners will not receive any transfer fee for the former Borussia Dortmund striker.

Aubameyang had 18 months left on his contract with the Gunners, but has not featured since early December having been banished from the squad by Mikel Arteta following a disciplinary breach.

What has Aubameyang said?

The former Arsenal captain posted an emotional farewell message to Gunners supporters on his Instagram page on Tuesday night.

It read: "To the Arsenal fans, thank you for making London home for myself and my family for the past four years. We went through ups and downs together and your support meant everything to me.

"Having the chance to win trophies and the honour of being the captain of this club is something I will forever keep in my heart.

"I have always been 100% focused and committed on doing everything I can for this club which is why leaving without a real goodbye hurts - but that is football.

"I’m sad I did not get the chance to help my teammates in the last few weeks, but I have nothing but respect for this club and truly wish all my guys and the fans all the best and many successful years in the future! Love, Auba."

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