Arteta reflects on 'unpleasant situation' as Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captaincy
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Barcelona are keen on rescuing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from his Arsenal nightmare when the transfer window reopens in the New Year. However, with the La Liga giants’ financial situation still murky, they may have to come up with a way of convincing the Gunners into parting ways with the 32-year-old. Express Sport will now take a look at four players Arsenal could accept as part of a swap deal for their former captain.
Philippe Coutinho was expected to drive Barcelona onto new heights when they signed him from Liverpool back in the January transfer window of 2018.
However, four years on, and it would be no understatement to say the Brazil international has been a major disappointment.
Coutinho’s best form came during a loan spell at Bayern Munich but, prior to his move to Germany, he was wanted by Arsenal.
They were linked with the Samba star back in the summer yet, ultimately, didn’t press ahead with their interest.
However, while Arsenal are well-stocked for playmakers at present, Coutinho could still appeal to Mikel Arteta’s team.
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When Barcelona lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain back in 2017, they then spent big on Ousmane Dembele.
However, like Coutinho, the France international has struggled to live up to expectations during his time at the Nou Camp.
If Arsenal lose Aubameyang, they’ll need a speedy attacker to replace him.
And if they can get Dembele back to his Borussia Dortmund best, Mikel Arteta’s side would be all the better for it.
The 24-year-old’s contract is winding down, anyway, and Barcelona could try and include him in a swap deal for Aubameyang this winter.
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Samuel Umtiti has been regularly plagued by injuries throughout his time at Barcelona.
A signing from Lyon in 2016, he was meant to be the centre-back partner for Gerard Pique for many years to come.
However, with Umtiti struggling for both form and fitness, there’s been plenty of talk about a potential move to the Premier League.
Arsenal have seen Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White impress at the back in recent weeks.
Yet Umtiti would be a good option to have, especially as an experienced head. Arteta needs leadership, after all.
While Arsenal have seen the best of Aaron Ramsdale since his arrival in the summer, Bernd Leno is expected to leave.
Should that happen, they’d need a top shot-stopper to help keep Ramsdale on his toes.
And Neto could be the way to go.
Arsenal have tracked the Barcelona goalkeeper in the past, with interest dating back to Unai Emery’s time at the club.
Consequently, it’s possible the Gunners will try and get him in as part of any potential Aubameyang swap.
Silvestre opens up on Aubameyang
Speaking recently to Express Sport, Mikael Silvestre opened up on Aubameyang – and said it was a ‘pity’ he’d lost the captaincy.
“It’s not good for Arsenal at the moment, for the management and for Auba also it’s a difficult moment that’s for sure,” he said.
“You don’t want to be in that moment when you’re pointing fingers. I would hope the positives will be out of this little drama that will hopefully benefit the team.
“Auba is a very good guy. It’s a pity this is happening, really, he went through a lot injured really last season.
“And since he’s been at Arsenal I would say in general he’s been a good captain.”
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