Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang offered Arsenal escape route but faces stumbling block

Arteta reflects on two years since becoming Arsenal boss

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s £350,000 per week wages could price him out of a move to Barcelona, according to reports. The Arsenal striker has publicly fallen out of favour with Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta in recent weeks.

Aubameyang has been jettisoned from the last three Arsenal squads after a “disciplinary breach” saw him allegedly return late from an authorised trip abroad.

As well as being excluded by Arteta for their victories against Southampton, West Ham United, and Leeds United, the north Londoners’ boss has also laid down the law by stripping him off the Gunners’ captaincy.

The relationship between player and manager appears to be beyond repair, and Barcelona are eagerly anticipating an opportunity to boost their forward line with the Gabonese hitman.

However, his monstrous £350,000 weekly salary could prove to be a monumental stumbling block for the cash-strapped Catalans.

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According to the Daily Mail, Xavi’s side are very keen on a move for the former Borussia Dortmund star, but his wages could prove to be too expensive.

The La Liga giants are in desperate need of a striker after Sergio Aguero was forced to retire after being diagnosed with a cardia arrhythmia.

It means, former Newcastle United flop Luuk de Jong is now their only natural striker, and he has also left plenty to be desired with his performances.

At the start of the summer, returning Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed the club are currently buried beneath debts of up to £1.15billion.

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La Liga also imposed new stringent means of governance by introducing a strict salary cap clubs could not exceed.

Unfortunately for the Catalans, the new measures resulted in the club needing to reduce their enormous £579million wage bill to £138m, according to the Athletic.

They have been able to make a dent in their lofty salary bill by offloading high earners such as Antoine Griezmann, Miralem Pjanic, and many others, yet they were still unable to simultaneously re-sign Lionel Messi and keep within La Liga guidelines.

While four months may have passed since Messi’s emotional exit, the club are still feeling the ramifications of what has been a disastrous run of transfer windows.

Reports from El Nacional also claimed the Arsenal striker may have had his head turned by the prospect of moving to the Nou Camp.

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Barcelona have also been linked with moves for Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani, while they are also keeping tabs on the future of Manchester City hitman Ferran Torres.

However, the prospect of signing Torres is more aspirational rather than realistic, due to the fact Pep Guardiola’s side have reportedly put a £50m price tag on his head.

Meanwhile, Cavani and Aubameyang are more realistic and likely targets, due to the fact they could be available on a free transfer and a season long loan respectively.

“Xavi has asked us to strengthen the squad and we are going to try to do it, but in this moment, we haven’t got any margin to do it,” Laporta said to Marca at the beginning of December.

“Therefore, in this moment we can’t, but we have to let the sporting department work.”

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