Chelsea set to axe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after frowned-upon visit to Barcelona dressing room
- Aubameyang has flopped at Chelsea
- Asked Barca for return during Clasico visit
- Blues prepared to terminate contract in summer
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gabon international was in attendance for the Blaugrana's dramatic late victory over Real Madrid in Sunday's El Clasico, reportedly visiting the dressing room afterwards. Spanish outlet SPORT write that during this visit, despite not being in contact with president Joan Laporta directly, Aubameyang openly expressed his desire to return to the club he called home for half a season. It is thought he would even be willing to take a pay cut in order to facilitate the move.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Naturally, the trip hasn't gone down too well in west London. Chelsea are reportedly open to terminating the striker's contract a year early and let him link back up with the Catalan club in the summer. The return to England has been one to forget for Aubameyang, having been brought in under the specific request of Thomas Tuchel only for the German to be sacked just days later.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Under Potter, the 33-year-old has made just 18 appearances across all competitions. He is evidently surplus to requirements given his removal from the Blues' Champions League squad and absence from the matchday squad of the last two Premier League outings. Barcelona and Xavi, for their part, would reportedly welcome the move, with Aubameyang making a good impression in Catalonia both in his attitude off the pitch and contributions on it, having posted 13 goals in just 23 matches.
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WHAT NEXT FOR AUBAMEYANG? Any potential termination of his contract will likely come in the summer, however, meaning the Gabon international faces another half-season on the bench - if he is fortunate - as well as a few more trips to Spain likely booked in-between.