Manchester United have reportedly held ‘secret’ talks with Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The 26-year-old and recently crowned African Player of the Year really announced himself to the Premier League – if he was unknown before – when he scored three goals over two legs during Borussia Dortmund’s Europa League last 16 tie with Tottenham.
The new television deal kicks in during the summer so, financially, there is no player that is too expensive for the top clubs.
But will we see Aubameyang in the Premier League next season?
Aubameyang’s representatives have supposedly been in contact with Manchester United as representatives from Old Trafford aim to determine the Gabon international’s availability this summer. United are willing to offer up to £60m for Aubameyang, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions this season. The Red Devils are adamant the transfer is a realistic possibility despite a host of other clubs chasing the forward’s signature.
Earlier this month, Spanish newspaper AS reported that Aubameyang had verbally agreed to a summer move to Real Madrid. The 26-year-old has triple nationality after being brought up in France with a Gabonese father and a Spanish mother so has links with Spain. Aubameyang was also quoted last year saying he “has a dream to play in Spain one day” because of a promise to his late grandfather who was a huge Real Madrid fan. This, coupled with Madrid’s rumoured summer clear out, would suggest the Spanish capital as his most likely destination, should he leave Dortmund.
Arsenal are the other contenders from the Premier League and their summer shopping list, like United’s, has Aubameyang at the very top of it. The Gunners are short of a 20-goal-a-season man despite the positive return to fitness of Danny Welbeck in recent weeks. Arsenal have a rumoured £200m to spend on incoming transfers so will provide stiff competition to Manchester United for Aubameyang’s signature.
Of course, there is a huge chance Aubameyang will remain at the German club for next season. Domestically, Dortmund are still in with a chance of catching Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga and with Pep Guardiola leaving the German champions, it is conceivable that Aubameyang will want to stay to see if he can lead the club to the championship while their rivals are in transition. German outlet Bild reported last year that Aubameyang and teammate Marco Reus have made a ‘secret pact’ that the Gabonese will not leave the club until his good friend does.