Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 'could join LAFC to replace Gareth Bale'
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ‘could join LAFC to replace Gareth Bale after being left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad’… and he CAN play in Major League Soccer despite already representing two teams this season
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Chelsea in September from Barcelona
- But the 33-year-old was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the Champions League
- Despite playing for two teams this season, Aubameyang can still join MLS
- FIFA’s ‘overlapping season’ rule would likely apply to an possible move to LA
- Click here for all your latest international sports news from DailyMail.com
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Chelsea future is under intensifying scrutiny after coach Graham Potter left him out the team’s Champions League squad – and a move to Major League Soccer could be on the horizon.
Aubameyang only joined Chelsea in September but after Chelsea owner Todd Boehly bankrolled a $400m spending spree on new players in the January transfer window, he has been pushed down the pecking order and left out of the London team’s 25-man Champions League roster.
According to Spanish sports website Relevo, MLS champion LAFC could now make a move to sign the 33-year-old.
LAFC is looking for a star name to join its roster after Gareth Bale’s retirement in the offseason. Bale only played a year in MLS but led his side to MLS Cup glory, scoring a dramatic 128th minute equalizer before his team won on penalties.
Furthermore, with the transfer window closed in Europe, Aubameyang faces a simple choice of either departing for Major League Soccer or sitting at Chelsea and not playing as much as he’d like.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is facing an uncertain future at Chelsea, months after signing
He was left out of Chelsea’s 25-man Champions League after several big January signings
Gareth Bale retired in the offseason but helped LAFC win the MLS Cup in his time in California
Aubameyang has already played for two teams this season – he made one appearance for Barcelona in LaLiga in the 0-0 tie with Rayo Vallecano in August before moving to Chelsea.
Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, state that players can only play for two teams in one season, but MLS provides a loophole for Aubameyang as its 2023 season is what is considered ‘an overlapping season’ due its start in February.
‘Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs,’ FIFA says. ‘As an exception to this rule, a player moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to winter/spring) may be eligible to play in official matches for a third club during the relevant season.’
Aubameyang has played 17 times for Chelsea this season, scoring three goals – the last of which came in October against AC Milan in the Champions League.
Chelsea coach Potter admitted he had to make some bold decision over who would be included in his 25-man Champions League team after the club made several high-profile signings in January.
‘Pierre’s a professional and of course I understand he will be disappointed,’ Potter said.
‘It was a tough decision, a tough call, we had three coming in and two had to go out, so he was the one that missed out. He’s done nothing wrong at all.
‘It’s tough because I am empathic, so I understand his disappointment, but I’ve got a responsibility which is to make these tough decisions and then articulate them as honestly and as well as I can to the player, and then respect the fact that he’s going to be disappointed.
‘He’s handled it very well, trained today fantastically, which is what I would expect. He’s been a top guy for us.’
Aubameyang only joined Chelsea in September and has played 17 times for the club so far
Graham Potter praised Aubameyang’s professionalism after his Champions League axe
LAFC’s new MLS season – without Bale – starts on February 25 against Los Angeles Galaxy
LAFC starts its Major League Soccer season on February 25 in ‘El Traffico’ against its crosstown rival Los Angeles Galaxy.
LAFC’s success last season means it will also play in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2023, starting with a round of 16 two-legged tie against Costa Rican side Alajuelense in March.
For Aubameyang and Chelsea, the next game is on Saturday against London rival West Ham.
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