Premier League champions Chelsea have moved ahead of rivals Liverpool in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to the Mirror.
The Gabon international has been widely expected to leave the Bundesliga outfit for a number of months, though was initially tipped to join Paris Saint-Germain. After his move to the French capital fell through, Aubameyang was strongly linked with a move to the Chinese Super League – though that was an opportunity the player turned down.
It’s now Chelsea who are considered front-runners to sign the 28-year-old, who scored a bumper 40 goals last season, despite reported interest from former manager Jurgen Klopp. Claims have persisted that Liverpool were in the running for the Gabon star, though Times journalist Paul Joyce reported last month that there was no interest in the player on Liverpool’s end.
Given Joyce’s previous report, logic has it that Chelsea are the only team left in the running with the money to afford the player combined with the need to sign a striker. The Blues were beaten by Manchester United to the signing of Romelu Lukaku earlier this month, while negotiations for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata are not believed to have progressed.
Chelsea have already sent Tammy Abraham on loan to Swansea and have lost Dominic Solanke to Liverpool, while Diego Costa has been told he’s surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. Costa is expected to seal a return to Atletico Madrid despite their current transfer ban, and he has also been left out of the travelling party for the club’s pre-season tour.
The Blues are now expected to press on in negotiations for Aubameyang, with Dortmund already looking at Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud as the player’s potential replacement.