Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was included in the squad list to face Real Sociedad yesterday, but did not come off the bench as his competitor for the spot – Robert Lewandowski – scored two and set up one.
Ansu Fati, Raphinha, and Ousmane Dembele also looked sharp as Barça cruised to a 1-4 win at the Anoeta. While Auba openly said he was fine with the competition Lewa brings to the team, being left as an unused substitute surely changes things.
(Not so) incidentally, Albert Roge reports that Barcelona and Chelsea are in advanced talks over a deal for the striker. The fee is said to be close to €22 million + €5 million in variables, pretty much meeting the Catalans’ €30 million asking price.
Chelsea had initially submitted a verbal offer of €14 million, which was rejected by Barcelona. They added a further €4 million in the offer during the next round, along with Marcos Alonso in a player-plus-cash deal.
The Blaugranes only wanted cash for their striker, and refused to negotiate any sort of swap deal. And now we have reached this point, following Chelsea’s 3-0 hammering at the hands of Leeds United, where the Blues are desperate for the move.
Aubameyang signed on a free transfer in January this year, and significantly reduced his salary this year to push for the move. His wages have reportedly doubled this season, reaching €9 million, according to Gerard Romero.
Offloading him creates a huge space in the wage bill, making it considerably easier for Barça to register Jules Kounde, who has already missed out on the first two games.
Further, the additional €27 odd million allows them to make more moves in the market, especially with regards to signing Bernardo Silva, and two fullbacks. In fact, they are poised to submit a €9 million offer for Javi Galan, whose salary is even lower than Alonso.
Barcelona and Chelsea are confident that they can reach an agreement in the coming hours, or so the report says. Ideally, it would be best to wait until David Ornstein breaks something regarding this move before celebrating or cussing.