Barcelona are looking to step up their interest in Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and will offer up midfielder Philippe Coutinho in exchange.
Manager Ronald Koeman is on the hunt for a new striker this summer after losing Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, and a recent report noted that both Aubameyang and team-mate Alexandre Lacazette have popped up on their radar.
According to Sky Sports News, it’s Aubameyang who is at the top of the wish list and club officials are exploring ways to bring him in without making too much of a dent on their finances. President Joan Laporta recently confirmed the club find themselves in €1.35bn worth of debt, so expensive transfers are out of the question.
To sign Aubameyang, it would have to be a swap deal, and that’s where Coutinho comes in. Barcelona want rid of the Brazilian and hope that Arsenal would take him in exchange for Aubameyang, given they are looking for a new number ten this summer.
90min understands that Arsenal are more than happy to listen to offers for both Aubameyang and Lacazette. The pair are both on the wrong side of 30, taking home enormous wages and failing to justify that on the pitch, so the Gunners will entertain any proposals that come there way.
However, they are unlikely to be interested in Coutinho – another player approaching 30 – as sources have confirmed to 90min that Arsenal are growing confident of striking a deal to bring Real Madrid‘s Martin Odegaard back to the club.
Odegaard is unsettled at the Santiago Bernabeu and would be keen on a return to Arsenal, and the Norway international’s representatives have reached out to the Gunners to discuss the possibility of bringing him back.
As far as the Aubameyang pursuit goes, Barcelona may find themselves needing to offer another player in exchange. They do have plenty of fringe players, such as Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic and Neto, but whether Arsenal would be interested in taking any of them is a different matter.
Barcelona could well find themselves needing to target another striker. It’s noted that they attempted to sign Chelsea‘s Tammy Abraham earlier in the window, but they were forced to pull out of talks over the Blues’ refusal to budge from their £40m asking price.
PSG’s Mauro Icardi has been linked with a move to Camp Nou, but a swap deal would be Barcelona’s only way of making that happen.