Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been released on a free transfer by Arsenal that will allow him to complete his preferred move to Barcelona as confirmed by the Gunners. Both clubs were engaged in talks over a loan deal for the Gabon striker only for it to break down on transfer deadline day.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ostracized from the Arsenal squad by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta due to a disciplinary breach that has seen the 32-year-old not feature for the London club since early December. The London club also stripped the Gabon international of the club captaincy further casting his future at the club in doubt. It was expected that the 32-year-old would move on to greener pastures in the January transfer window putting an end to his stint at England.
Barcelona were interested in signing Aubameyang as they continue their pursuit of signing a striker as the Catalan club aim to finish the season strongly. Both clubs were engaged in talks over a potential deal although negotiations hit a stumbling block on transfer deadline day over the percentage of the striker's wages the Spanish club would have to cover.
The 32-year-old, who flew out to Barcelona to complete a deal, would have to return to England after the move collapsed. In a dramatic twist of events, an agreement has now been reached between both clubs as Aubameyang will join the Blaugrana permanently as Arsenal have confirmed they have mutually terminated his contract.
"Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left the club by mutual agreement. We wish Auba all the best for the next chapter in his career and thank him for his contribution to the club," Arsenal revealed in a statement.
Aubameyang expressed his gratitude to the Arsenal fans for supporting him throughout the years via a post across his social media pages and also admitted that "leaving without a real goodbye" hurts him. He also added that he was "always 100 per cent focused and committed" to the club and has nothing but respect for them.
"To the Arsenal fans, thank you for making London home for myself and my family for the past four years. We went through ups and downs together and your support meant everything to me. Having the chance to win trophies and the honour of being the captain of this club is something I will forever keep in my heart," the 32-year-old revealed in a statement on social media.
"I have always been 100 per cent focused and committed on doing everything I can for this club which is why leaving without a real goodbye hurts - but that is football. I'm sad I did not get the chance to help my teammates in the last few weeks, but I have nothing but respect for this club and truly wish all my guys and the fans all the best and many successful years in the future! Love, Auba."
⚡ For the match-winning moments— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 1, 2022
🙅♂️ For the iconic celebrations
😀 For making us smile
Thank you for everything, @Auba ❤️