With Diego Costa seemingly on his way out, Antonio Conte’s Premier League champions Chelsea are reportedly keen to make Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their new main striker.
The Borussia Dortmund player is one of the hottest properties in Europe – but the Blues are not without rivals for the Gabonese’s signature.
Here, we assess the situation to decide if a switch to Stamford Bridge is likely.
What does he offer?
Aubameyang, 28, has improved on his goal output in each of the three seasons that followed his debut campaign for Dortmund in 2013/14. He reached 40 goals in all competitions last term, helping BVB advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, a tournament he helped the Germans qualify again for with 31 league strikes that secured a third-placed finish. Lethal in the box, he is also able to pick a pass and make up ground rapidly on the counter-attack. He is not, however, known for making any effort to track back and help his team-mates defend.
Would Dortmund let him go?
A rumoured price tag of around 70 million euros (£61.5million) is unlikely to put off Europe’s big spenders, including Chelsea, but ambitious Dortmund are unwilling to wait forever to field offers. Indeed, Borussia chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke is starting to lose patience with the protracted transfer saga, telling Welt am Sonntag: “We have not received any offers for the player. We will wait a few more days but not for much longer than that. Personally, I’d be happy if Pierre were to remain.”
Who are Chelsea’s rivals?
With time ticking away before Dortmund head for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland on July 24, Chelsea are feeling the pressure to make a decision but hesitancy might not be their only problem. Aubameyang has reportedly already held talks with AC Milan, the club with whom he signed his first senior contract, and a potential move to Tianjin Quanjian broke down as the Chinese club failed to beat the transfer deadline, with the Super League’s window closing last week. Real Madrid and Liverpool are rumoured to be keen, too.
Where does he want to go?
Chelsea fans, who have witnessed a promising summer of recruitment so far, may yet face some major disappointment as it appears Aubameyang knows where his future might lie. Eagle-eyed Twitter users will have noticed that the Gabon international liked a tweet from a French-speaking user of the social network which said: “Brother @Aubameyang7 come back home. Milan are putting a great team together and you’re the missing link.” Does the San Siro hold more of a pull than Stamford Bridge?