MADRID – Barcelona were reportedly closing in on the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (picture) on Monday night, after Arsenal agreed to let their former captain leave for free.
Aubameyang will join Barca on an initial six-month deal, according to reports in the Spanish press, with an option to extend by a further year.
The signing did not have to be announced before the transfer window closed on Monday, as Aubameyang is reportedly a free agent.
He had earlier surprised Barcelona by travelling to the city, where his father owns a house, and negotiations appeared to have broken down over the striker’s salary.
Barca continue to be hampered by enormous debts, which amount to more than a billion euros.
The club were also unsuccessful in trying to offload Ousmane Dembele, who can now leave for free when his contract expires in the summer.
But even with Dembele staying, the Aubameyang deal was revived hours later, as Arsenal agreed to let their former captain leave on a free transfer, allowing the Premier League club to shift the entirety of the player’s salary.
Aubameyang, meanwhile, is believed to have taken a significant cut on his Arsenal wage, which started at around 300,000 euros ($337,000) a week, to secure his move to Camp Nou.
Xavi Hernandez will hope Aubameyang’s arrival can prove a pivotal moment in Barcelona’s fight to finish in La Liga’s top four.
They sit fifth, a point behind Atletico Madrid, who they play at home on Sunday, when Aubameyang could make his debut.