Aubameyang signs for Barcelona on free transfer
The Gabon striker has committed to a three-and-a-half-year contract at Camp Nou after reportedly agreeing to take a significant pay-cut.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed for Barcelona on a free transfer following his departure from Arsenal. Aubameyang's contract at Arsenal was terminated by mutual consent on Tuesday, with the 32-year-old having arrived in Spain on deadline day to thrash out terms with Barca. A potential loan deal was explored first, but the Blaugrana were unable to match Aubameyang's £340,000-per-week salary and so the Gunners subsequently agreed to let him go as a free agent and sign for the Liga giants on a permanent deal.
What's been said?
Aubameyang trained with the Barca first team ahead of the deal being concluded and the club have now announced his arrival on a three-and-a-half-year contract. "FC Barcelona and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have reached an agreement for the player to join the club after the striker terminated his contract with Arsenal FC," a statement on the Blaugrana's official website reads. "The player will sign a contract until 30 June 2025 with an option to agree departure on 30 June 2023 and his buy-out clause will be set at 100 million euros. "Shortly the club will provide details of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's presentation as a first-team player."
What led to Aubamayang's Arsenal exit?
Aubameyang initially joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record fee of £56 million ($76m) in January 2018, and went on to score 92 goals in 163 games for the north London outfit. Two of those efforts came in an FA Cup final victory over Chelsea in 2020 and he also landed two Premier League Golden Boots during his time with the Gunners, but he fell out of favour with Mikel Arteta in the first half of the current campaign. Aubameyang was stripped of the club captaincy and exiled from the Spaniard's plans following a disciplinary breach during the festive period, with his final appearance coming from the bench in a 2-1 loss to Everton on December 6. Barca fans will hope that Aubameyang can now rediscover his best form in La Liga as they chase Champions League qualification under Xavi, and he could be in line to make his debut when they take on Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
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