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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang closing in on Barcelona loan [UPDATE: lol, nope]

The striker turned up in Spain earlier today.

Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

UPDATE (10:45 am): Per David Ornstein, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s loan move has all but collapsed over his salary. The striker is headed back to London. Will Mikel Arteta and Aubameyang find a way to mend fences and reintegrate him into the team? Arsenal sure could use somebody who has scored double-digit league goals pretty much every season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in Barcelona today ahead of a possible loan move to the Spanish club. No deal has been agreed yet, but it seems like if Aubameyang is heading anywhere before the transfer window closes tonight, it’s Barca.

Per some reports, both Arsenal and Barcelona were surprised that Aubameyang turned up in Catalonia today, but that bit of the story falls into the “unreliable” category. In that same category is the report that Arsenal have been offered Ousmane Dembélé in a swap deal. Barcelona have been trying hard to jettison the out-of-favor Dembélé, who has been heavily linked to PSG.

Arsenal have reportedly signed off on the Aubameyang deal. Barcelona want him on loan. But nothing is finalized and the deal may be contingent on the Spanish club lowering their wage bill. Shipping out Dembélé would be a big step in that direction. Arsenal, naturally, want Barcelona to cover most or all of the striker’s massive weekly salary. Aubameyang taking a pay cut has also been mooted.

Or if you believe other reports, Arsenal have zero interested in Dembélé. Barcelona do not have to move him to afford Aubameyang’s wages. And Dembélé’s move to PSG is off because of Financial Fair Play.