Arsenal are reporedly worried Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s falling out with Mikel Arteta and his monstrous £350,000-per-week salary could hamper their attempts to cash in on the ex-captain.
Aubameyang has not been seen on the pitch or the Gunners' match-day squad since he was disciplined for allegedly returning from an authorised trip abroad late at the start of December.
A furious Arteta immediately jettisoned him from the squad, before stripping him of the Gunners’ captaincy.
And with the former Borussia Dortmund hitman’s relationship with Arteta appearing unsalvageable, Arsenal are understood to have informed clubs of Aubameyang’s availability in the current window.
However, reports from the Daily Mail claim they are concerned the striker’s monstrous wages and his spat with Arteta may have significantly reduced his transfer value.
Aubameyang has flown out to Cameroon to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations for Gabon.
While his participation in the prestigious African tournament will add extra complications from a practical point of view, his wages will likely be the biggest stumbling block.
The striker put pen to paper on a new three-year deal with the Gunners last summer, worth an estimated £350,000 per week in wages.
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Very few clubs in the Premier League, let along abroad would be capable of paying such a salary, for a player who has not shown his best form for the last two seasons.
If another club is unwilling to pay his wages or convince him to take a pay-cut, then there is every possibility the Gabonese star could remain at the Gunners and see out the final 18-months of his contract.
Moreover, Aubameyang’s well-document, public spat with Arteta is also a huge source of concern for the Gunners.
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While performances on the pitch do not appear to have been hampered by the drama, the Gunners are also concerned their dispute has led to Aubameyang’s transfer value plummeting.
With both player and manager aggrieved at one another, perspective buyers could try and use the spat as leverage to manufacture a cheaper transfer fee for the striker.
And with Arsenal still in the market for a new striker, this scenario would be far from ideal for the north Londoners.
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