BREAKING NEWS: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is BANISHED from Arsenal first-team training and will be exiled until after the Africa Cup of Nations – and deposed captain could be sold in January
- Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is training away from Arsenal’s first team
- Aubameyang was sacked as Gunners captain earlier this week by Mikel Arteta
- The striker is back at Arsenal’s London Colney base but is not with Arteta’s squad
- The decision to keep the Gabon forward away is a mutual decision by all parties
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been banished from Arsenal first-team training and will continue to be exiled from Mikel Arteta’s plans until the end of 2021 at the earliest.
The striker’s future at Emirates is looking increasingly bleak following the decision to strip him of the club captaincy on Monday, for what Arsenal called his ‘latest disciplinary breach’ after returning late from an agreed trip to France to collect his sick mum.
Sportsmail understands the 32-year-old has not been involved in first-team training at the club’s London Colney HQ this week, a development that casts further doubt over his future in north London.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been banished from Arsenal first team training after his dismissal as captain
Instead, the striker has been training alone, away from the squad. Arteta confirmed on Friday that Aubameyang would not be considered for the weekend game versus Leeds and it is understood his non-inclusion in first-team affairs will continue until he leaves for Africa Cup of Nations duty at the end of the month.
A date for Aubameyang’s release for the tournament, which is taking place in the Cameroon next month, is still to be agreed.
But the forward is understandably keen to leave for international duty as soon as possible.
Sources are adamant Aubameyang’s non-inclusion within the senior set-up this week is not tantamount to a strike – but described as a ‘mutual’ decision from all parties.
The striker’s (left) future is looking increasingly bleak after he fell out with Mikel Arteta (right)
Aubameyang headed back to France last week to visit his mother, who has been unwell, but arrived back late from the trip
Indeed, Aubameyang is particularly keen to stay as fit as possible ahead of Gabon’s tournament campaign and is not refusing to train.
Despite this week’s fall-out, Arsenal are contractually obliged to provide Aubameyang with training provisions with the striker still using the club’s facilities despite his exile.
But his non-involvement at first-team level raises questions over whether there is a way back for him under Arteta.
There appears no chance of Aubameyang being reintegrated into the first team before he reports for international duty later this month.
The decision to not bring Aubameyang back into training is a ‘mutual’ decision
Aubameyang is still training and wants to maintain his fitness for the Africa Cup of Nations
The Gunners are open to letting Aubameyang go in January and will discuss any offers in next month’s window but a summer exit seems more likely as it stands.
That leaves the club facing the tricky task of potentially phasing Aubameyang back into the the squad when he returns from duty with Gabon but that issue will be dealt with upon the player’s return from Cameroon.
Much may depend on how Arsenal fare in Aubameyang’s absence as to whether Arteta looks to merge his £350,000-per-week striker back into his plans.
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