It wouldn’t be a transfer window without deadline day drama and Chelsea look set to be involved this summer. The Blues have been desperate to get a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed and now the move has stalled and Chelsea are growing frustrated.
Thomas Tuchel has already said that there will be distractions for his side ahead of their match against Southampton this evening and it may well be in the form of Aubameyang who is a massive target for the German. The former Arsenal captain had his best scoring spree under Tuchel and would love a reunion with the current Blues boss, but the chances of that happening are now heading into no mans land.
After agreeing personal terms with the forward more than a week ago, and Chelsea being optimistic that he could have played some role against Leicester, talks have been halted and a wider game of chess has appeared, much to the anger of Chelsea fans who will be happy to never come across Barcelona again after this window.
The Catalan club have already poached Jules Kounde from underneath the noses of Todd Boehly and also managed to secure Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha too. They weren’t able to get Cesar Azpilicueta to Spain and Marcos Alonso is still a deal that might happen, but it just as likely might not. That is the extent to the complexities at play, and Fabrizio Romano has revealed how unpredictable and convoluted the circumstances are.
He 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.”
football.london had reported that Chelsea were confident of having their £22million offer for Aubameyang accepted despite the asking price being closer to £25million. Since then talks have slowed and Chelsea have pushed for Marcos Alonso to involved in the deal. With just two full days left of the window, there might be a rush to the finish line:
“I can say that it is absolutely not advanced between the two clubs,” says Romano. “I am told that there has been an agreement for his personal terms for two weeks, so I can say that the issue is not with the player. The real issue is with Barcelona.
“Because what Chelsea is offering including Marcos Alonso in the deal is not what Barcelona wants. Barcelona wants to discuss Marcos Alonso in a separate negotiation, but Chelsea wants to include him in the deal. So at the moment no agreement and the feeling I have is that it could be a deadline-day move or the day before.
“New important meeting scheduled on Tuesday for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Chelsea and Barcelona discussing on the structure of the deal. Still no full agreement but parties at work
“Auba still waiting for clubs to agree on the fee — deal up to the two clubs now.”
Tuchel could find himself short changed if he doesn’t manage to get Aubameyang over the line, with an attack that is far from thriving, the Gabonese striker was seen as a short-term answer. Anthony Gordon is also a player wanted by Chelsea but his high asking price has slowed proceedings there too. This could not only hamper the outgoings, making Hakim Ziyech’s future uncertain, it would also mean that Chelsea do look short up front as the window closes, further elevating the importance of reaching an agreement with Barca.