FC Barcelona

Xavi previously warned Barcelona not to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Tom Gott
Xavi previously had concerns over Aubameyang's fit at Barcelona
Xavi previously had concerns over Aubameyang's fit at Barcelona / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Barcelona are on the cusp of signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal on a free transfer, having overcome the obstacles posed by the collapse of a proposed loan deal on deadline day.

Aubameyang arrived at Barcelona airport without either club knowing and looked set to leave empty handed when initial negotiations broke down. But Arsenal surprisingly agreed to let him go for free and all that is left is the official confirmation of the move.

Manager Xavi wanted a new striker throughout January. The club signed versatile forward Ferran Torres from Manchester City but also wanted Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata to cut short his loan with Juventus and head to Camp Nou as well.

That didn't happen and Aubameyang was the club's Plan B, although just how high he was on Xavi's wishlist is a different matter entirely as the current coach had previously told Barcelona not to sign the Gabon international as he wouldn't be the right fit for the club.

"[Sadio] Mane and Aubameyang can kill you in open space," Xavi said when discussing possible signings in 2020. "But Barcelona need players who know how to move in small spaces.

"I am thinking about players who would adapt to Barcelona and it’s not easy to find one.”

Aubameyang scored ten goals for Arsenal in 2020/21 and contributed four this term, before he was stripped of the captaincy and banished from the first team for repeated disciplinary issues.

He was keen to leave the Emirates and eventually got his wish, signing his contract in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Official confirmation is expected to come soon.

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