Exclusive – Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng features on Barcelona’s shortlist of potential summer signings, though the reigning La Liga champions have established Inter’s Lautaro Martínez as their top striking target ahead of next season.
Barcelona have been on the lookout for a new striker for several months, with 33-year-old Luis Suárez approaching the end of his career at Camp Nou, but the striker’s recent injury has forced Barcelona to step up their search.
A source has confirmed that Aubameyang is one of the names under consideration in Catalonia. He would be eager to make the switch if a bid arrived, though he may have to play the waiting game as Barcelona have preferred targets.
Their first choice signing would be 22-year-old Martínez. The Argentinian has racked up 16 goals and four assists in all competitions for Antonio Conte’s Inter so far this season, and while there is an acceptance that the player’s preferred next move is Barcelona, he will not come cheap.
A £94m release clause will exist in the Argentinian’s current deal with Inter in the first two weeks of July, per a recent report from The Times, and Inter are not prepared to accept anything less for a player fast becoming one of their most important stars.
As a result, Barcelona are looking at a number of alternatives, one of which is Aubameyang. The 30-year-old has just 18 months remaining on his current contract with Arsenal and is delaying talks over a new deal while he considers all his options.
He would be keen on making the move and would certainly be a cheaper option.
Barcelona have struggled for numbers in attack this season. With both Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé sidelined, Quique Setién has just Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and 17-year-old Ansu Fati to call upon.
Despite all their struggles, Barcelona sit second in La Liga and boast the best goalscoring record in the entire division.
However, there is an acceptance that more goalscorers are needed as soon as possible, and Martínez is the man at the top of their wish list, but the Aubameyang option remains in their thinking.