The Barcelona star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was reportedly robbed at his home just south of Barcelona and has now been moved to a five-star hotel along with his family.
The Catalan News outlet ARA reported that the former Arsenal captain was assaulted by a group of four men and threatened with firearms and iron bars in front of his wife Alysha Behague and their two children.
It has also been claimed that the robbery occured after he turned down advice from his club, FC Barcelona, to hire 24-hour security.
The thieves are believed to have escaped with jewels after the striker was forced to open a safe within their property.
ARA also reported that Barcelona moved them to the luxury Princess Sofia hotel and has provided them with psychological counselling.
Here is all you need to know about what happened to Aubameyang and where he might spend his 2022/23 football season...
Who is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
Born in Laval, France, Aubameyang is a forward for the La Liga side Barcelona as well as being a Gabonese international and the country’s all-time top goalscorer.
Despite technically beginning his career with AC Milan, the 33-year-old spent each season on loan with French clubs, Dijon, Lille and Monaco before finally moving to AS Saint-Etienne in 2011.
After 87 appearances with the first team, Aubameyang moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2013 where he stayed for five years, converting successfuly from a winger to a striker and scoring over 100 goals for them.
In 2018, it was then announced Arsenal had signed the forward on a then-club-record fee, reported to be around £56million.
In his second season at the Gunners, Aubameyang ended as joint the Golden Boot winnersalongside Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on 22 goals. He was soon given the captaincy after it was stripped from Granit Xhaka at the end of 2019.
As documented in the recent ‘Arsenal: All or Nothing’ TV series, Aubameyang then began to break several disciplinary codes the new manager Mikel Arteta had put in place. A fall-out ensued, ending with his captaincy being stripped, the forward being left out the squad and ultimately joining Barcelona in early 2022.
Earlier in May 2022, Aubameyang announced his retirement from international football, after making 72 appearances for Gabon and scoring 30 goals.
What happened to Aubameyang?
Reports from ARA have suggested that his two children, Curtys, 11, and Pierre, six, saw both their parents held on the ground for an hour while the thieves ransacked their home in Castelldefels early on Monday morning (30 August).
It is believed, accoring to the ARA reports, that the assailants belong to an organised gang of Kosovar Albanians and were apparently staking out the property while Aubameyang was away in the United States on Barcelona’s pre-season tour.
They reportedly tried to enter the house during this time but were unsuccessful due to an alarm, however on the second attempt the alarm was disconnected due to the family being at home.
Barcelona have been recommending that all their players to hire private security for their properties to deter criminals, yet as the forward has been linked with moving away from Camp Nou this summer, he had not yet hired anyone.
What is the latest transfer news around Aubameyang?
Aubameyang has been linked with a move back to London this summer and a last minute transfer deadline day deal looks to be on the cards with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
The pair worked together back during their time at Borussia Dortmund and the Gabon international had his best scoring success under the German manager.
While personal terms between the forward and the Blues were agreed upon over a week ago, talks have since halted and Barcelona now seem to be playing a much bigger game.
The Catalan giants have already taken Jules Kounde from under Chelsea’s nose and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has said: “Crazy strategy game on the deal. 20 days of strategy game. Because FC Barcelona knows that Chelsea wants Aubameyang as a priority and they don’t have many other alternatives with three days left in the window.
“But Chelsea knows that Barcelona needs money for their financial situation, so there is a complicated negotiation going on.”