Chelsea’s pursuit of a new centre-forward has been one of the biggest ongoing questions of the summer transfer window so far.
The Blues sent Belgian international Romelu Lukaku on loan to Italian side Inter Milan this summer and are on the hunt for a new goalscorer to replace the 29-year old.
It looked for a while that Cristiano Ronaldo could be the man they turn to with the six time Ballon d’Or winner confirming he wanted to leave Manchester United, but that move never materialised and now looks unlikely.
Thomas Tuchel’s side now appear to have turned their attention to former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left the Gunners under a cloud of controversy to join Barcelona in January.
Here is everything we know so far about Chelsea’s pursuit of the 33-year old hitman as well as Barca teammate and long term Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea latest
According to various reports from both English and Spanish media, Chelsea are very interested in bringing Aubameyang to Stamford Bridge with a fee of £15 million being quoted.
The Blues have already spent big this summer, bringing in Raheem Sterling for £50 million from Manchester City, Kalidou Koulibaly for £34 million from Napoli, Carney Chukwuemeka for £20 million from Aston Villa and Marc Cucurella for £55 million from Brighton & Hove Albion.
The move have been part of a massive rebuilding job at Stamford Bridge with first team regulars Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving on free transfers to join Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, as well as Lukaku’s aforementioned loan move back to Inter.
The futures of Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta are also in doubt while striker Timo Werner has also left to join old club RB Leipzig.
With the need for a centre forward of paramount importance to the Blues, links to Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo materialised earlier in the transfer window.
The Portuguese icon is on record as wanting to leave Old Trafford this summer and Stamford Bridge looked like a potential destination, but those rumours have now cooled and it’s Aubameyang that currently looks like the favourite to come in.
Indeed, oddsmakers have the former Arsenal skipper as 1/2 on to join Chelsea before September 3, 2022.
Aubameyang’s Arsenal exit explained and potential sell on clause
Anyone who has been watching the new Amazon Prime series All or Nothing: Arsenal will know all about Aubameyang’s controversial move to Barcelona in January.
The striker was stripped of the Gunners’ captaincy after alleged multiple disciplinary breaches, and fell out with head coach Mikel Arteta which resulted in sporting director Edu looking to force a move away from the Emirates for the Gabon international before the January window shut.
Barca had originally come in with a loan offer but Arsenal’s preference was to terminate the player’s contract and allow the Spanish side to sign him permanently - this would mean they would not have to pay his reported £300,000 a week salary when he returned in the summer.
In the end, the two were able to reach an agreement where Aubameyang’s contract was torn up but various reports have suggested the Gunners had to take a £7 million hit by paying the remainder of the wages he was due for that season.
It also means they have now missed out on any potential windfall if the player does leave to join Chelsea this summer.
Aubameyang’s goalscoring stats
Aubameyang started his career as a winger at AC Milan and St Etienne, before developing his ability as a lethal finisher with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
With BVB, he scored 98 goals in 144 league matches, with an impressive 141 goals in 213 matches across all competitions.
The forward maintained his eye for goal following a big-money move to Arsenal, where he netted 92 goals in 163 appearances for the Gunners.
Following his move to the Catalan giants last winter, Aubameyang scored seven goals in 16 matches.
Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea latest
Another transfer story that is seemingly going hand-in-hand with the Aubameyang news at the moment is that Chelsea are set to swoop in and sign the striker’s Barcelona teammate Frenkie de Jong.
The Dutch midfielder has been a long term target for Manchester United this summer but a move to Old Trafford has stalled time and time again due to several issues surrounding the player’s complicated contract situation at the Nou Camp.
However, Chelsea could be prepared to meet the player’s transfer valuation and pay off the money allegedly owed to the player by his current club in order to secure his signature.
However, it is still being reported that De Jong wants to remain at Barcelona and oddsmakers seem to think that is the most likely outcome - pricing him at 6/5 to remain at Barcelona, 13/8 to join Chelsea and 11/4 to move to Manchester United.