Barcelona announce Aubameyang signing

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Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer.

The clubs had been locked in talks ahead of the transfer deadline, with the 32-year-old flying into Catalonia on Monday in an attempt to push through a deal.

Arsenal were keen to offload Aubameyang’s wage — which starts at £250,000 a week — after a deterioration in his relationship with manager Mikel Arteta, having been stripped of the captaincy in December following a series of disciplinary issues before being left behind as the first-team squad traveled to Dubai for a winter training break at the end of January.

But after talks threatened to collapse on Monday, the two sides later found a compromise to secure a deal.

Aubameyang, who had 18 months remaining on his Arsenal contract, has not played for the club since Dec. 6 and was sent home from the Africa Cup of Nations after medical tests had shown he had cardiac lesions. He had previously tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in Cameroon for the tournament.

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The Gabon striker posted on social media later to say his heart was “absolutely fine” and he had been given a clean bill of health after further tests in London.

Sources previously told ESPN that Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, on loan from Atletico Madrid, was Barca’s primary target, but Aubameyang became an option after a deal for the Spain striker did not materialise.

January was a busy month for Barcelona, with Aubameyang joining Adama Traore from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ferran Torres from Manchester City at the club. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele is set to stay at Camp Nou for the remainder of the season.

Information from ESPN’s James Olley was used in this report.

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