Arsenal are reportedly considering the possibility of offloading star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in order to fund Wilfried Zaha’s £80 million transfer.
According to a report from BBC’s David Ornstein, Arsenal are very much interested in signing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha this summer, but may have to sell striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in order to generate the requisite funds for the transfer.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is keen on adding a new wide player to his squad ahead of the next season, given the lack of an out-and-out winger in the ranks. To that end, the former PSG boss has identified Crystal Palace star Zaha as a top target, with the Gunners believed to have tracked him extensively over the course of last season.
Zaha enjoyed a stellar season with Crystal Palace last time out, as he played a huge role in the Eagles finishing in the 12th place, comfortably away from the relegation zone. The Ivory Coast international finished with 10 goals and assists apiece from 34 outings in the Premier League, leading to Arsenal’s interest in him.
However, Palace are reluctant to sell their star man and have reportedly slapped an £80 million price tag on Zaha, which is a major stumbling block in Arsenal’s plans. The Gunners, having missed out on Champions League football for the third season in a row, are operating with a tight transfer budget of just £45 million.
Arsenal were hoping to raise the money to fund a move for Zaha by offloading players like Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Ozil, who do not feature in the manager’s plans for next season. However, with no suitors for the duo, the Londoners are facing the prospect of having to sell more marketable players such as Aubameyang.
The Gabonese striker has been with Arsenal for 18 months and has been a huge hit during his time in London. Aubameyang ended last season as the leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 22 goals, while he netted 8 more in the UEFA Europa League.
However, according to recent reports, Aubameyang has been courting interest from a number of clubs from the Chinese Super League. While losing their star striker would be a blow, Arsenal could be enticed by a huge offer for a player who turned 30 earlier this month, which would help them sign their intended targets.
Arsenal could definitely use with a someone of Zaha’s qualities as it would add an alternate dimension to their forward play. However, it remains to be seen if they are willing to sell their main striker in order to generate the necessary funds to push ahead with their interest in the winger.