Chelsea’s pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be over this summer, with the 33-year-old set to stay put barring a ‘dizzying’ offer from the Blues, as per reports in Spain.
The London side are in the hunt for attacking reinforcements, having parted ways with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner this summer and with Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic both in the shop window.
And their focus had been drawn to former Arsenal skipper Aubameyang, who worked with Thomas Tuchel to good effect while the pair were together at Borussia Dortmund.
When quizzed by the media, the Chelsea boss refused to close the door for any potential move amid speculation about their interest in the Gabon star.
“I enjoyed working with him a lot, it was a pleasure. I’ve never had any issue”, he explained.
“Some players stay your players, as you are very close. Auba is one of the players. Even when we played Arsenal, straight away it was a close bond” the German added.
Xavi closes the door, Depay to slam it shut?
However, the Blues have been dealt a blow by Xavi, with the Barcelona manager speaking highly of his striker ahead of their opening La Liga clash with Rayo Vallecano.
“I’m really delighted with him, he can help us”, the Barca boss revealed. “Those I am not counting on already know, they know won’t play.” But, the Spaniard admitted, “between now and August 31, different things can happen”.
A deal for Memphis Depay could change things, however, with Barcelona only willing to let one of Auba and the Dutchman leave this summer.
At present, Depay is closer to the exit door, with the forward in talks with Juventus over a 2-year deal, which he would terminate his Barcelona contract in order to complete.
Should that move be completed, a deal for Aubameyang could be completely off the table, meaning that Chelsea will have to move fast to stand any chance of landing the veteran.