Petr Cech approved Chelsea’s move for Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Petr Cech during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Watford
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Petr Cech were team-mate for 18 months at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea look to have won the race for Timo Werner’s signature this summer after agreeing a deal in principle with the sought-after Leipzig star, but the German was by no means the only striker on the club’s radar in recent months.

Frank Lampard appears intent on making up for lost time after Chelsea’s transfer ban prohibited him from bringing in any reinforcements last summer and the Blues flew out of the blocks by wrapping up a £36million agreement for Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech back in February.

Chelsea have made it clear they will release the necessary funds for Lampard to bolster his squad to get the club back among the elite of English football and Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell will be their next priority once Werner’s move is finalised.

Petr Cech and Frank Lampard share a joke
Cech and Lampard were both keen on signing Aubameyang in January (Picture: Getty)

According to The Athletic, Chelsea have been intent on revamping their frontline for some time and strongly considered a bid to sign Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang towards the end of the January transfer window.

Lampard is keen to ease the pressure on Tammy Abraham and Aubameyang’s experience and proven goalscoring record in the Premier League was hugely appealing to the Chelsea head coach.

The report claims Chelsea technical and performance Petr Cech also approved a move for Aubameyang over the winter.

Cech has a close relationship with Aubameyang after sharing a dressing room with the Gabon international at the Emirates and greatly admires his work ethic and professionalism.

However, Arsenal were not prepared to part with their talisman midway through the campaign and the north London outfit must now decide whether to sell him this summer or risk losing him on a free transfer in 12 months’ time.

Timo Werner during Leipzig's Bundesliga clash with Mainz
Timo Werner has verbally agreed a deal with Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Earlier this week, Jamie Carragher claimed that Aubameyang was ‘too good’ for Arsenal but urged Mikel Arteta to do everything in his power to keep hold of the striker beyond the summer.

‘It’s interesting because Liverpool were in the same situation as Arsenal towards the end of my career when you’re just missing out on the top-four,’ the former Liverpool and England defender said on Sky Sports.

‘It’s okay to have rules like “we never let a player go on a Bosman ruling”, but if you’re Mikel Arteta, have you got more chance of getting back in the Champions League if he stays?

‘That’s the decision they have to make. At this stage, there’s no doubt that Aubameyang is too good for Arsenal. We had that at Liverpool with Luis Suarez and certain other players.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during Arsenal's training session
Aubameyang becomes a free agent in 2021 (Picture: Getty)

‘You’re desperate to keep hold of them because you want to build around those players. If they go you feel like you’re starting all over again.

‘That will be a decision for them. It’s okay saying “if he doesn’t want to be there, let him go”. But it’s not as easy when you’re at that club and you have a player of such star quality who will be there or thereabouts for the Golden Boot every year.

‘It’s not easy to find goalscorers so I’d keep Aubameyang and see what you can do, see if you can bring players in around him and hopefully have a successful season and convince him to stay over the next 12 months.

‘If not, it still gives Arsenal a greater chance of getting back in the top-four and that’s where they need to be.’

Gary Neville accused Arsenal of making an enormous mistake by failing to tie Aubameyang down with a long-term contract when he joined the club in 2018.

He said: ‘Was he only given a three-year contract to start with? That’s the strange thing for me.

‘If you pay £60m for someone, to have him leaving or in a position to leave… Arsenal find themselves in this position far too often

‘I think a three-year deal for a player who cost £60 million… you’d at least want that fourth year so you can at least control him if he does well for the first two seasons.

‘That’s the mistake that was made on day one.’

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