Arsenal had ‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang swap deal’ rejected before Barcelona switch | Soccer | sport
Arsenal had a messy swap deal involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned down before their former club captain joined Barcelona, according to reports. Aubameyang joined the La Liga giants after the Gunners agreed to tear up his contract on deadline day, but he could have signed for Juventus instead.
Arsenal and Aubameyang were keen to sever ties in January after boss Mikel Arteta ruled the striker out of the first team for several matches.
The 32-year-old forward was charged with a disciplinary misconduct by the Spaniard and hadn’t played for Arsenal since December 6.
Aubameyang was stripped of his duties as club captain and Arteta refused to select him for matches.
He finally got a route out of the Emirates Stadium at the end of January. Arsenal have agreed to terminate his contract and a deal with Barca has been finalized.
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But Aubameyang could have joined Juventus had another plan materialized, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Arsenal wanted a player swap deal with Juventus which would have involved Alvaro Morata’s return to the Premier League, claims Romano.
But the transfer has been complicated by the fact that the former Chelsea striker still belongs to Atletico Madrid. Morata is only on loan at the Serie A outfit.
Atletico turned down the offer, apparently thinking Arsenal were unlikely to sign Morata on a permanent basis, and Aubameyang left for Barca instead. Juve have signed another Arsenal target, Dusan Vlahovic.
Romano said on his YouTube channel: “Aubameyang, he joined Barcelona from Arsenal, but I want to tell you something behind the scenes.
“No from Atletico Madrid. Juventus were ready to open negotiations for Morata but (his parent club) said no because they didn’t want to accept a loan for (him) anymore.
Aubameyang’s departure could pose a big problem for Arsenal and Arteta in the summer window.
The head coach faces the prospect of losing each of his attacking options in the first team. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both have contracts that expire in June and look unlikely to renew their terms.
This means a striker will be a high priority ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.