Ligue 1’s Most Wanted: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang:

St Etienne have a squad full of young talent. The likes of Joshua Guilavogui and Kurt Zouma look set for a bright future at the highest level. No man is more in demand, however, than Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Here we look at where the future really lies for this talented 23 year old:

Manchester City are rumoured to have moved into pole position to sign the highly wanted Gabonese international, but Roma is also said to be a likely destination for the player.

Aubameyang has scored more than 16 goals so far this season (a goal every 144 minutes) and has also set 6 goals up for his side. He has great technical ability, a strong shot and tends to be in the right place at the right time. It is of no surprise therefore that he is a wanted man:

After fending off much interest in the Winter, St Etienne were able to keep their man until at least the end of the season. Newcastle inquired about the player’s availability various times across the January transfer window, and look set to return to try to sign the player. There are a few problems, however. Aubameyang has hit form. He has scored in every league game since the 27th of January and has attracted interest from many other clubs across Europe.

The Gabonese international has been watched by Manchester City, Newcastle, Chelsea, Manchester United, PSG and Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Fiorentina in recent months, and Spurs are also said to be interested. Realistically, Aubameyang would be unlikely to receive first team football at either Manchester club, PSG or Chelsea, but with Fernando Torres still failing to fire, and with doubts about the future of Wayne Rooney, Aubameyang could definitely be on these club’s shopping list.

It does look, however, as, if Aubameyang leaves, it would be better for him to go to Arsenal, Newcastle, or even Dortmund or either Italian club, as this is where he would receive first team football. Going to a Manchester club, PSG or Chelsea would probably be seen as him ‘going for the money,’ but the striker has shown himself to be obsessed with luxury items in the past: notably when he warmed up against Lyon in 2,500 euro boots. Here is him unwrapping diamond encrusted boots at the African cup of Nations:

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(Via The Mail Online)

The Gabonese international has shown, however, an interest in going to PSG. Before his side’s crunch match against the league leaders, he  had this to say:

‘Does PSG interest me? Of course they do. Do they want me? I’m not sure, we will see. Playing alongside Ibra would be great no?’

This does seem like a cry for a bid from the player and it does appear that if PSG made a move for the player, Aubameyang would be likely to go. One wonders if such a move could wreck the player’s career due to lack of game time, but on his day, the playere can be a world beater. It is unclear whether PSG will make a bid, as they have been linked with many players in the past, and it has come to nothing. Aubameyang’s agent works for the same agency as Eden Hazard’s does, and we are seeing a similar pattern of a wanted player trying to drum up transfer interest to increase his price. Aubameyang’s father has also now revealed that they have rejected an approach from the big spenders in order not to jeopardize the player’s career. The move therefore is looking unlikely.

Newcastle have shown the most interest, with Mike Ashley, their chairman, even going out to watch the player himself, but it is now looking less and less likely that the player will go there, with higher pedigree clubs getting involved. Speaking a few days ago about his future, the 23 year old said:  ‘Are these my last months here? I just don’t know.’ The reality is that St Etienne are a very good side, and there is a chance that Aubameyang sees no reason to leave. The team are in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, and currently sit fourth in Ligue 1, mainly due to his goals. If St Etienne make Champions League, or even Europa League football for next season, then the player may see no reason to leave, due to the fact that some of his suitors, such as Newcastle, are unlikely to have this luxury. St Etienne manager Galtier, has confirmed, however that the player will definitely leave the club if the team do not qualify for the UCL, by saying:

“We had a moral agreement with Aubameyang, his father and advisers, but there won’t be any surprise. We all know what will happen. We gave him our thumbs up for him to leave, but also to stay with us next season if there is a Champions League adventure.” 

Recent interest from AC Milan, however, once again makes this move to Newcastle more unlikely. It is a club that Aubameyang started his career at and is father has stated that it would be great for his son to go back. Nobody is too sure, however, whether Milan have any real desire to bring the player to the club:

‘AC Milan? If they want him it will be a great honour. A dream. Would be like coming home.’

Fiorentina also look like a strong possibility as Aubameyang’s father has revealed that he will meet with club representatives soon:

‘Fiorentina? They have contacted us and want to meet. I will go there soon.’

This is definitely a possible move therefore and outcomes of this meeting are likely to become clear soon. It could once again be a case of Aubameyang trying to stir up more interest so that the price of his transfer goes up.

Aubameyang continues to impress, however, and it does not seem like he will be at St Etienne for too much longer. Before January, Aubameyang had this to say: “I am fine at the moment at St Etienne and if there is interest in me then I can only thank God for that, I really love the Premier League and hope to one day play in England, but there are other leagues in the world too, with good quality.”

Aubameyang is clearly still undecided and while responding to rumours about him leaving for 12 million euros, he said this:

‘I do not know if 12 Million is fine for the club, but i do not know if i will go or not. Such a sum, it’s nice because two years ago it (my value) was not that much.’ 

It is also now being said that after watching the player a few times, Manchester City have supposedly entered into talks with the representatives of the Gabonese international, but this is yet to be confirmed. With the likes of Carlos Tevez, Dzeko and even Sergio Aguero rumoured to be on their way out of the club, Aubameyang for 12 million euros would be a good price for a fairly good stricker. Gametime would be limited though. Mercato 365 are reporting that Manchester City’s representatives are set to meet the player’s agent next weekend.

We are currently looking into it, but even if this is the case, the player could still not go there. He has plenty of other options and there is no rush. Manchester City, as mentioned, is a place where he would get limited football and it would be a shame to see the player go there when he has other options that would suit his needs better.

Having said that Roma are also looking increasingly likely to sign the player having join the race recently. They have met the player’s representatives and Aubameyang himself has revealed that they would be willing to pay the money to sign him. The player is said to prefer a move to England though.

We shall wait and see, but on a personal level, I highly doubt that the Gabonese star will still be at Les Verts next season. It simply looks like a case of which club makes the best offer, and suits the players needs. So with Aubameyang looking likely to be in the Premier League, Serie A or possibly with PSG or Dortmund next season, or indeed in another European league, here is a taster of what he can do: (Via ridahomran)

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James Martland

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