By 90Min
June 28, 2019

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reported to have said 'yes' to the idea of joining Manchester United this summer, as what appears to be a somewhat farfetched transfer rumour seems to be gathering a bit of pace.


Aubameyang arrived in north London as Arsenal's record signing for around £56m in January 2018, effectively replacing United-bound Alexis Sanchez as the Gunners' chief goalscorer.

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But where Sanchez flopped hard at Old Trafford, Aubameyang hit the ground running at the Emirates Stadium. The Gabon international managed an impressive 10 goals in his first half season, following that up with 22 and a share of the Golden Boot in his first full campaign.

Arsenal fans would therefore be distraught to see him leave so quickly. However, with the club's finances under severe pressure in the transfer market this summer and the squad in desperate need of a rebuild after a distinctly flat end to 2018/19, it may be a necessary sacrifice.

Failure to qualify for the Champions League is thought to have given Arsenal a transfer budget of £40m and not much more unless they can raise capital by selling off players.

To that end, BBC Sport's David Ornstein wrote this week, "The most realistic way of generating the required finance would be by cashing in on Aubameyang, though the potential implications of parting with last season's top scorer would present a major dilemma for the Gunners."

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While far from ideal, it seems as though the possibility is at least there.

This is where Manchester United have been linked, something that feels reminiscent of 2012 when Sir Alex Ferguson snatched Robin van Persie from Arsenal...and just after the Dutchman had won the Premier League Golden Boot as well.

With Inter seemingly desperate to sign Romelu Lukaku, United could find themselves in need of a new striker this summer. Italian sports daily Tuttosport alleges that Aubameyang has said 'yes' to the Old Trafford club, which the report hopes will see United bend to Inter's budget restraints.

Whether that is born out of fact or simply blind hope remains to be seen. United have so far held firm on the Lukaku front, with Tuttosport noting that Inter can only extend to €60m (£54m). That is at least €10m less than the figure United have previously been rumoured to want.

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There is no mention of what kind of price tag would be attached to Aubameyang, but one would anticipate it certainly being at least as much as what Arsenal paid 18 months ago.

There are problems, however. At 30 years of age, Aubameyang is the polar opposite of the type of player United are targeting this summer after so far landing 21-year-old par Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, an with plans to move onto Newcastle's Sean Longstaff.

And while reminiscent of the Van Persie deal in 2012, things could hardly be more different now. Van Persie was younger for starters, even if only slightly. But, more importantly, he was seen as the final piece of a Premier League title winning squad, signed for the short-term to win one final trophy for Sir Alex Ferguson, who probably already knew he was soon going to retire.

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Six years of terrible mismanagement since means that United need far more than just short-term these days, so an expensive deal for Aubameyang just doesn't tick the boxes.

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