Arsenal have received a loan offer from Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr with an obligation to buy for £7 million for ostracised ex-captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which could help the club save £25 million in wages.
The 32-year-old striker has not played for Arsenal since early November when he was left out of the team for what the club described as indiscipline, which was later revealed to be the player returning a day later than scheduled from visiting his sick mother in France.
He got his opportunity to play senior football after almost a month away with his country at the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, only for him to contract Covid-19 and suffer some minor cardiac problems leading to him returning to North London and ending his AfCON journey prematurely.
His return to Arsenal, however, has not guaranteed his reintegration into the squad and he has now been offered a way back into active football by Al Nassr. Reports claim that the Gunners hierarchy are currently considering the proposal, due to the financial benefits of the move.
The £7 million obligation-to-buy fee is a lot lesser than the club’s valuation of Aubameyang, but the loan offer will see Arsenal take off Aubameyang’s £250,000-a-week wage from their books for the rest of the season. The Gabonese striker, whose country have successfully made it to the next round of the African Cup of Nations, has 18 months left on his current Arsenal contract and an exit now would save the North London club around £25 million.
Arteta unsure of why Aubameyang returned from AfCON
Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has claimed he never expected Aubameyang to be back from Cameroon, hosts of the 2021 African Cup of Nations, at this time.
Earlier in the week, Gabon national team manager Patrice Neveu claimed that he was pressured to release Aubameyang back to Arsenal, also citing their inability to carry out the necessary tests to determine his ability to continue at the tournament as a reason.
The 32-year-old striker, now back in North London, will undergo further tests to determine his fitness level but Arteta has claimed that he is unsure why the striker is back.
“He’s in London. Now he’s going through some examinations because we haven’t had any clarity from the Gabon national team about the reasons why he’s come back,” Arteta told journalists.
“It’s our obligation to make sure he’s in a good condition and there’s no issues related to that.
“He is in good condition. So far, historically, with everything we have done with the player he has never had an issue. Hopefully that is the case.
“He contracted COVID-19 and then the national team decided to bring him back here and this is where we are.
“Let’s go step by step and do the right examinations and make sure the players’ health is in the best possible condition. Then we’ll see what happens.”