Barcelona step up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang interest amid Arsenal finance cuts

Barcelona are reportedly ready to step up efforts to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal prepare to cover a black hole on their finances this summer.

The Gabon international was heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp in January with the Catalans desperate to sign another forward.

He will be out of contract at the Emirates at the end of next season and there have been no signs as yet that he is going to renew terms on a new deal.

Aubameyang, who is the Premier League ’s joint-top scorer with Leicester City ’s Jamie Vardy this season, wants to play Champions League football again having been deprived of it since joining.

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Arsenal are also desperate for a return to the Champions League next season after posting losses of £27.1million for the 2018/19 campaign.

And, according to the Express , Barca may well make their move for the Gunners hitman in the summer.

Mikel Arteta is keen for Aubameyang to sign a new deal at the Emirates and the club are ready to open talks despite their financial situation.

But the report suggests Barca bosses have been keeping close tabs on the former Borussia Dortmund star and believe they can prize him away from the Premier League.

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Inter Milan have also got the Arsenal captain on their shopping list and could move into pole position if Barca meets Lautaro Martinez’s £94m buyout clause.

Earlier this week, Aubameyang responded to claims on Twitter that he will leave if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League, tweeting: "Why they talk about what they don’t know."

On the striker, Arteta said recently: "He’s our most important player. Stats wise there’s no question about the impact that he has on the team.

"So as much as I can and the club can we will try to convince him to stay with us."

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Arsenal’s Champions League hopes were heavily dented earlier this week after they were somewhat surprisingly knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiacos.

Winning that competition would have qualified them for next season’s competition automatically but now they only have the Premier League to claim a spot.

But they are currently eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in 10th place, trailing the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham, Sheffield United, and Wolves.

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