Manchester United are plotting to hijack Chelsea’s deal to sign Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to reports. Thomas Tuchel’s side are in talks with Barcelona over a potential transfer, with the Catalan club hoping to sign Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso in a part- exchange deal.
Barcelona are looking to secure a fee in the region of €25m (£21m) to €28m (23m) for the 33-year- old Gabon international. United are now battling Chelsea to sign Aubameyang, according to The Sun , although they face a ‘big challenge’ to convince him to switch to Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag’s side sit bottom of the Premier League table for the first time in 30 years after losing their first two games of the season and are desperate for a new striker, with question marks over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future still lingering.
Aubameyang only joined Barcelona in January following his controversial departure from Arsenal, which saw his contract terminated after he fell out with manager Mikel Arteta over disciplinary breaches.
The former Gunners captain enjoyed a reputation- restoring second half to last season during which he scored 13 goals in all competitions but his Barcelona future has suddenly become shrouded in uncertainty.
Barcelona’s perilous financial position, allied to the high-profile arrival of Robert Lewandowski, has dramatically shifted the picture for Aubameyang, little more than six months after he moved to Camp Nou. Barcelona – who still have not registered new centre-back Jules Kounde due to their financial issues – are believed to be keen to offload the forward, with the terms of his contract meaning he is now on a far bigger salary this season than he was in the previous campaign.
Barcelona are around £1bn in debt but they are among the biggest spenders in Europe this summer, signing the likes of Kounde, Raphinha and Lewandowski. Aubameyang is considered a key player that could raise funds for the side, while Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay could also leave.