It wasn’t a rosy season for Arsenal but one undeniable bright spot was the performance of Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang, which, once he became favoured, was one of the better striker seasons in the Red in White in years. Potting 31 goals overall, including a 22 goal Golden Boot in the Premier League, is a darn good achievement for the 29-year-old. Sort of made up for not buying him six years ago.
However, it appears there are rumblings of clubs looking to acquire the Gabonese forward and its coming from a long way away. A pair of Chinese clubs, Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG are rekindling interesting in Auba, as it seems the Chinese Super League is still very interested in having him among their ranks.
Remember it was in the summer window of 2018 that Tianjin Quanjian attempted to purchase him from Borussia Dortmund for the mouth watering sum of £71 million. The deal had been agreed to but couldn’t quite close the deal, leading to Auba’s move to Arsenal for the lesser fee of £56 million. Now, competitors look to try again.
Arsenal, however, doens’t appear to be having any of it. The club is reported to see off any potential offers by offering Aubameyang a contract extension, increasing his £190,000-a-week wage. Chinese clubs are thought to be offering in the £300,000-a-week range and it’s unclear if Arsenal are willing to match that, putting him in the Mesut Ozil pay scale. However, built into the current contract is a £3.75m loyalty bonus for every year Auba plays with Arsenal, a move thought to help dissuade his pursuit of huge wages increases.
In either case, Emery seems set to keep him and has been given notice that any player sales can be reinvested in the squad so money will likely be found for PEA should he want that extension. What allure, beyond money, the Chinese Super League would have for a golden boot winner is unclear. Auba clearly demonstrated that he can still cut it in the big leagues and should he want to move, it is likely a suitor in Europe would also line up for his services.
Real rumour or contract ploy? Only time will tell.