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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves Arsenal by mutual consent with a move to Barcelona on the horizon

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left the club by mutual consent. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left the club by mutual consent. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP

Published Feb 2, 2022

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London - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's sometimes tumultuous Arsenal career is over after the club confirmed on Tuesday that he had left by mutual consent, paving the way for an expected move to Spanish giants Barcelona on a free transfer.

The 32-year-old striker has not played for Arsenal since December after manager Mikel Arteta stripped him of the captaincy due to a "disciplinary breach".

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The Gabon international was also sent home early from their Africa Cup of Nations campaign after the Gabonese Football Federation said cardiac lesions were found in tests conducted in Cameroon following a positive Covid-19 test.

"We wish Auba all the best for the next chapter in his career and thank him for his contribution to the club," Arsenal said in a statement on their website.

Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund four years ago and was former manager Arsene Wenger's last signing.

He immediately became a fan favourite and went on to score 92 goals in 163 games for the club.

ALSO READ: Writing on the wall for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal

One of his crowning moments was captaining Arsenal to their 14th FA Cup crown in 2020, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over Chelsea, having also scored a brace against Manchester City in the semi-final.

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Aubameyang scored 22 league goals in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns, but could only muster 10 league strikes the following term as Arsenal finished eighth.

After a long, drawn-out contract saga, Arsenal tied down Aubameyang to a new three-year deal in 2020, much to the delight of Gunners fans, who were desperate for the striker to stay put.

But things have turned sour for Aubameyang this season, so much so that one of the club's prized assets has been allowed to leave without a fee with 18 months left on his contract.

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According to Sky Sports, Aubameyang trained with Barcelona on Tuesday after flying to the Spanish city on Monday.

On Tuesday Barcelona president Joan Laporta said: "We will present Adama Traore tomorrow and, if everything continues well, we will also present Aubameyang."

Barcelona have been looking to rebuild since the departure of Lionel Messi to Paris St Germain and the Catalan club sits fifth in the LaLiga standings, 15 points behind leaders and rivals Real Madrid.

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In a quest to strengthen their attacking options, Barca signed Spanish forward Ferran Torres https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/barcelona-sign-spanish-forward-torres-man-city-2021-12-28 from Manchester City for around 55 million euros ($61.34 million) while they also took Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Traore https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-spain-fcb/soccer-winger-traore-returns-to-boyhood-club-barcelona-on-loan-idUKKBN2K30F0 on loan.

The club has also tried to offload French winger Ousmane Dembele, who has not played since their Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid earlier this month.

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($1 = 0.8967 euros) (Reporting by Peter Hall and Rohith Nair Editing by Toby Davis)

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