By Biodun Busari
Chelsea have made a bid of £22 million for Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and set to offer personal terms as a plot to bring the Gabonese back to Premier League thickens, according to reports.
The 33-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this summer following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
The Blues currently lack grip in their attacking form despite having the options of Kai Havertz, Raheem Sterling and Armando Broja playing in the centre of the attack.
Gabon international has emerged as a surprise target for the west Londoners, with Thomas Tuchel keen to be reunited with a player he knows well from their time together at Borussia Dortmund.
Sport Bible reports that the good relationship and successful spell Thomas Tuchel enjoyed with former Arsenal skipper at Borussia Dortmund are a big factor to reunite at West London.
Speaking on Aubameyang last week, Tuchel said, “I enjoyed a lot working with him, was a pleasure. Some players stay your players because you work very very close, Auba is one of these players. We had a very close relationship.”
Aubameyang only moved to Camp Nou earlier this year, joining on a free transfer after Arsenal agreed to end his contract.
According to reliable Spanish journalist Gerard Romero on his Jijantes FC Twitch channel, Chelsea have submitted their first official bid and it meets Barca’s asking price.
Incredibly, despite paying nothing for Aubameyang barely six months ago, the Catalan club were demanding as much as £23m for the 33-year-old.
In early negotiations, Chelsea had verbally proposed a figure of around £12m but have dramatically upped their offer amid speculation that Manchester United had also started to show interest.
The Blues are prepared to increase Aubameyang’s salary significantly, with the forward having accepted a pay cut to join Barca earlier this year.
Although Xavi would have liked to count on the Gabonese forward this season – particularly after he netted 11 times in just 17 La Liga appearances last season – Barcelona’s hierarchy is eager to let him go.