Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is poised to join Barcelona on a loan deal for the remainder of the season as the two clubs negotiate a split of his salary
Barcelona are closing in on a deal to sign Arsenal outcast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a loan deal for the remainder of the season.
Aubameyang has suffered an alarming fall from grace in North London having been stripped of the club captaincy and ostracised by boss Mikel Arteta.
The two clubs are now in talks over concluding a loan deal for the remaining four months of the campaign with no option to buy to be included in any arrangement.
The main sticking point in the negotiations is over the percentage of the Gabonese striker’s £350k-per-week wages will be paid by the Catalan giants.
Aubameyang’s wage packet is a significant financial drain for the Gunners and they are keen to forego any loan fee in order to make a drastic saving on their outgoings.
Barca had previously identified Alvaro Morata as their primary striker target this month but that move hit complications as the Spain international is still owned by Atletico Madrid.
Juventus are willing to cut short Morata’s loan deal but Atleti are vying for a top four spot in La Liga with Barca and are unwilling to strengthen their rivals at a crucial point in the season.
Blaugrana boss Xavi Hernandez has already secured a trio of signings this month with Dani Alves, Ferran Torres and Adama Traore all incomings at the Camp Nou.
It is believed that Barca will not have to sell players in order to register Aubameyang but that is dependent upon the percent of his salary that they can agree to split with Arsenal.
The 32-year-old is not expected to take a wage cut which leaves both clubs to agree on a wage split to cover the costs.
Details of the negotiations are outlined by The Athletic, who confirm that Juve were another club who had been monitoring Aubameyang in this transfer window.
However, the Bianconeri completed the signing of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic and discontinued their interest in the former Gunners captain.
Aubameyang’s impending exit may prompt Arsenal into a late move in the January transfer window but they will have little more than 24 hours to seek a replacement.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are the only other recognised senior strikers in their squad, following the loan exit of Folarin Balogun to Middlesbrough earlier this month.
Balogun is one of five players to exit Arsenal’s first-team squad this month with Ainsley Maitland-Niles joining Roma on loan and Pablo Mari making a temporary move to Udinese, while Callum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac joined Aston Villa and Marseille respectively on free transfers.
Aubameyang has scored 92 goals for Arsenal in 163 appearances for the club since his January 2018 arrival from Borussia Dortmund, including seven goals in 15 outings this campaign.