sports

Aubameyang wanted: Barcelona and Real Madrid eye January swoop for Arsenal star


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has “shelved contract talks” with Arsenal, reports The Times, amid mounting speculation that the striker is looking to leave the “Mayhemirates”. 

The paper says that Aubameyang – who was the Premier League’s joint top scorer last season with 22 goals – is increasingly concerned at the turmoil within the club and the likelihood that they will not qualify for next season’s Champions League. 

As a consequence he is weighing up his options and refusing to enter into negotiations with the Gunners about extending his £200,000-a-week contract that expires at the end of next season.

Barcelona bid

The Times adds that Aubameyang “is on the list of strikers being considered by Barcelona for the January transfer window” and he could be tempted by an offer because of the certainty of playing Champions League football next season. 

Apparently the Catalan club see Aubameyang as the perfect foil for Luis Suarez after deciding that Ousmane Dembele is not up for the role.

Madrid also keen

The Daily Mirror agrees with The Times about the Barcelona interest and also claims that Real Madrid are “monitoring Aubameyang closely”. 

Real head coach Zinedine Zidane is known to be an admirer of the Arsenal striker and could look to exploit the chaos at the Gunners with an offer in the new year.

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Santo the favourite to replace Emery 

Are Arsenal about to wrong foot the press pack and appoint Nuno Espirito Santo as their next manager? 

In recent days the talk has been all about Mikel Arteta and Massimiliano Allegri as the favourites to replace Unai Emery, but the Daily Mail reports that Wolves boss Santo is now the bookies’ surprise choice. 

The news is a shock given the strong belief that it was a two-horse race to replace Emery, but Portuguese gaffer Santo has come up on the outside to “overtake” Arteta and Allegri and is as low as 10/11 on Sky Bet and 5/4 with Paddy Power

Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has what the Daily Mirror describes as “close links” with Santo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and that could prove decisive.

Today’s back pages

‘Ball boy done good’ as Mourinho’s Spurs fight back to qualify

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For analysis of the biggest sport stories – and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news – try The Week magazine. Start your trial today 
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