Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly desperate to re-join Barcelona, who could sign him on a free transfer this summer.
What's going on with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
Aubameyang left Barcelona following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski, and returned to London with Chelsea, but has had a nightmare time at Stamford Bridge.
He has fallen down the pecking order to the extent that he was removed from Chelsea's Champions League squad, and he could have his contract terminated at the end of the season. Meanwhile, he was recently pictured celebrating Barcelona's recent El Clasico victory inside the Blaugrana changing rooms.
Aubameyang scored 13 goals for Barcelona last season after arriving from Arsenal in January 2022, and parted on good terms with Xavi, who once described him as a "gift from heaven."
A report in Mundo Deportivo has recently claimed that alongside Inigo Martinez and Ilkay Gundogan, Barcelona could target Aubameyang - but only if he is available without a transfer fee. It also claims that the player is "crazy" to move back to Camp Nou.
If Barcelona can clear their wage bill enough, Gundogan, Martinez and Aubameyang - in theory - could strengthen the squad with no outlay on transfer fees.
Should Barcelona move for Aubameyang?
Even if he does arrive on a free transfer, the £160k-per-week forward may not be the ideal signing for Barcelona given that they already have Lewandowski up front.
At 33 and out of form, his best days are clearly behind him, and given that Barcelona need to heavily reduce their wage bill, he would add a high salary and likely be unable to reproduce his output from when he was on form.
Targeting free transfers may be the best route for Barcelona to follow, but if they are also targeting 35-year-old Lionel Messi, then there is simply no room in attack for Aubameyang unless there are major departures.
Whilst Ansu Fati has been recently suggested as a potential departure, selling a 20-year-old to accommodate an ageing player is not a good long-term strategy for Xavi's side, even if he does bring quality in the short term.
Unless Aubameyang moves on a free transfer with severely reduced wages, a move would be poor financial planning in a position where they are well-stocked.
Whilst he may prove to be an experienced backup, giving Fati or Ferran Torres more minutes may prove more beneficial for Barcelona: they can either develop their younger players or help them gain value in the transfer market - value which Aubameyang would no longer command due to his age.