After dramatic turnaround, Barcelona seals Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer deadline

Arsenal's ex-captain is expected to join Barcelona on loan during the rest of the season

After dramatic turnaround, Barcelona seals Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer deadline

A dramatic deadline day is about to come to an end as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves Arsenal after Barcelona reached an agreement to sign him on a free transfer.

Monday began with Aubameyang feeling confident enough that he was moving to La Liga giants on loan. He traveled to Catalonia unassisted by either club. Talks between Arsenal and Barcelona stalled over the financial situation of Barcelona. However, sources close to the matter confirmed that the impasse was broken. If the remaining hurdles are cleared, the player will be allowed to leave on a permanent basis with no transfer fee. In the next few hours, the 32-year old will have his medical.

Arsenal will be relieved that Aubameyang has been paid his $400,000-per-week salary, but there will be much confusion among supporters if he leaves without a replacement. CBS Sports was informed by club sources that Aubameyang's departure does not reflect the Emirates Stadium's belief that their month-long search for a center forward would succeed. Mikel Arteta will continue the season without any strikers, unless something dramatic happens in the last three hours of the window.

Aubameyang is eager to move to La Liga, as Barcelona's strike options have increased. Even though talks seemed to be stalling, the Spanish side still expressed their confidence. Mundo Deportivo Joan Laporta, Club president, said: "We will continue working until the end. It's not an easy situation. We know we want to sign Aubameyang. It's not easy, but there is hope.

Sources close to Aubameyang's deal confirmed to CBS Sports that the two sides had reached an agreement over the loan agreement. However, Arsenal and Spain have not been able to reach an agreement. Arsenal were shocked to learn that Aubameyang had made the trip to Barcelona. Employees discovered the truth only after he was photographed arriving at the airport.

Aubameyang will enjoy a happy end to January. He had previously rejected offers from other clubs in an effort to switch to top European clubs. CBS Sports announced earlier this month the striker was offered a loan move by Al Nassr. This would have included a mandatory purchase clause of $9 million that would have been welcome by Arsenal. Despite numerous attempts to charm Aubameyang, which included an exit clause that would have allowed him to return to Europe within a year, he decided to stay in Europe.

Barcelona joined the fray in final hours of the window, with Xavi already having identified Aubameyang his top target. To complete a midseason window in which the Blaugrana have dramatically changed their attack, Adama Traore and Ferran Torres, the former Borussia Dortmund striker joined other Premier League imports.

Aubameyang is currently out of contract and has not shown much form since signing a three-year contract with Arsenal before the 2020-21 season. In 43 Premier League games, he has only scored 14 goals. Arteta has been using Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette as his centre forward options. The former has three Premier League goals, while the latter has none. Both players are out of contract at season's end.

Arsenal was trying to improve in this position this month, with technical director Edu gaspar and manager Arteta open to discussing plans for summer business. Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad and Everton's Dominic Calvert Lewin, as well as Jonathan David, a Canadian international, are all targets. The release clause for the former is believed to be valued at $100 million.

A number of players have been loaned to the Gunners this month by Real Madrid's Lukajovic and Mehdi Taremi from Porto. They are also working to improve Arteta’s strikeforce before Monday night's transfer window closes. Arsenal has signed Auston Trusty, the Colorado Rapids' center back.

Trusty, a 23-year old, will be on loan to the MLS club through July 17. Trusty was named Rapids' Defender of the Year for the 2021 season. He was also called up to the USMNT training camp in Arizona earlier in the month.

Padraig Smith, Colorado Rapids executive vice president and general manager, said that Austin is coming off an extraordinary season in 2021. He played a crucial role in helping us to finish at the top of the Western Conference for first time in our history. We are committed to bringing in the best young players from Colorado and the United States, and to giving them a platform to thrive, achieve success with MLS and make the move to Europe.
"Auston's exceptional performances have caught the attention of many European clubs over the last 12 months. We are privileged to be a part of an organization like KSE that allows us help a player such as Auston further his development and career aspirations.