Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tried to force January move to Barcelona

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Aubameyang was close to a move to Barcelona in January (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s attempts to force a January transfer to Barcelona were shut down by the north London club, according to reports.

The Spanish giants tried to recruit the 31-year-old in the winter transfer window given the injury to first-choice forward Luis Suarez.

According to Catalan publication Sport, the Gunners denied their top scorer’s request to leave, despite Barcelona having a deal agreed with the striker.

The report also states that Aubameyang is now a backup option for the summer transfer window, as Quique Setién’s side favour a move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.

However, if a move for the Argentinian cannot be completed, Barca view the Arsenal forward as a much cheaper alternative.

Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on March 10, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be desperate to keep hold of his star striker (Picture: Getty Images)

The Gunners face a battle on their hands to hold onto the Gabon international, as his current contract ends in just 18 months.

Talks of an extension are reportedly stalling due to his wage demands of upwards of £300,000 a week.

The clinical striker also wants to play Champions League football, which is looking increasingly unlikely with the Gunners’ league position of ninth.

Despite the rumours of his exit, Aubameyang insists he is ‘happy’ at the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: ‘It means a lot [to play here]. When I was younger I used to watch Arsenal because they always had great players and they won trophies as well.

‘I think it is really a pleasure to be here, I am really happy – that’s my feeling.’

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