Transfer Talk: Aubameyang’s Arsenal exit more likely in summer


The summer transfer window was unlike any other. See all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here’s the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Aubameyang summer move more likely

Arsenal are open to letting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave in January, but a summer departure is more likely, as has been reported by The Daily Mail.

The drama is the latest between the player and the club, who is “not available for selection” when Arsenal face Leeds United on Saturday, according to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

It is felt that his exclusion could even last until he returns from playing at the Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon.

Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy on Tuesday following a series of disciplinary issues, the latest of which saw him returning from an overseas trip later than agreed last week.

With Arteta’s stance in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Gunners are willing to discuss any transfer offers that come their way in next month’s window.

However, it is stated that a move is more likely to materialise in the summer as things stand, meaning Arteta could be faced with the task of reintegrating Aubameyang into the group.

It is suggested that Arsenal could wait to see how they fare without the attacker before deciding whether or not to bring him back in.

Though, in not doing so, they would see a player on £350,000-per-week not getting onto the pitch. Aubameyang’s current contract runs until the summer of 2023.

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09.49 GMT: Chelsea are still pursuing Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens, with the possibility of a move in January not off the table as the LaLiga club are willing to drop their €80m valuation.

Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta’s deal all expire in the summer and no breakthrough has been made in negotiations with them. Sources have told ESPN that Barcelona are monitoring the situation with Azpilicueta.

While sources said a move for Kounde is more likely in the summer, a January transfer has not been ruled out. Tuchel is a huge admirer of Kounde, sources said, with his interest dating back to when he was Paris Saint-Germain manager and Kounde was at Bordeaux.

Chelsea were in direct negotiations with Sevilla over the transfer of Kounde last summer but a move broke down when neither side could agree on a fee for the France international. The LaLiga side wanted the full release clause of £80m for the centre-back but are now willing to negotiate a fee between €50m-€60m for a player with two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

Sources told ESPN that Kounde is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and the 23-year-old is believed to have agreed the framework of a four or five-year contract.

09.00 GMT: Diego Simeone has refused to rule out Joao Felix leaving Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old joined from Benfica in 2019 in a deal worth €126m — the second highest fee ever paid to sign a teenager — but has failed to perform consistently since, or find a regular place in Simeone’s starting team.

“I always understand everything, I’m open to everything,” Simeone said in a news conference on Friday when asked if he would understand Joao Felix asking to depart.

“The most important thing is the team. Joao is an important piece of our team.”

The Portugal forward has started just three LaLiga games for Atletico this season, but impressed as a second-half substitute in their 2-0 derby defeat to Real Madrid last Sunday.

“He has to repeat performances like the one he gave the other day at the Bernabeu,” Simeone said.

“He played 30-35 minutes and showed all the talent he has. Let’s hope he repeats it, because that’s the player we need.”

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Barcelona see goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as untouchable, according to reports from Diario Sport. The Blaugrana may be forced to offload players due to their financial issues, with previous reports stating that Bayern Munich are interested in the German. However, Barça manager Xavi Hernandez sees Ter Stegen as a key player to get the club back on track, meaning he won’t entertain any offers for him.

Krasnodar are ready to spend between €10-12 million on a striker with New York City FC‘s Valentin Castellanos one of their targets after finishing as Golden Boot winner in Major League Soccer, reports Nicolo Schira. The Russian outfit is also considering CorinthiansRoger Guedes, who scored seven goals in 19 Brazilian league games.

– Barcelona have decided to cut Yusuf Demir‘s loan spell from Rapid Vienna short, which has alerted Bundesliga clubs, as reported by Diario Sport. The Catalan club had a €10m option to sign the 18-year-old permanently but won’t be doing so, with Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt all looking to sign the Austrian permanently.

– Sitting third in the Serie A table, Atalanta are hopeful of securing the Scudetto and are looking to strengthen in the January transfer window to help them do so, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The first player they’re aiming for is Sassuolo‘s Jeremie Boga, who they had also attempted to sign during the summer. They also want to bring in Morten Thorsby, though negotiations could be difficult due to Sampdoria‘s position in the league.

– LaLiga outfit Granada will begin talks to sign former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, as has been reported by Ekrem Konur. The 33-year-old has been with Atletico Mineiro since August and has a contract that runs until December 2022, having just completed the domestic Double in Brazil.

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