Man Utd ‘decide to bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’ as Chelsea face threat of hijack

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Manchester United are set to make a bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they look to beat Chelsea to the signing of the Barcelona star, according to reports. Erik ten Hag wants a new forward to arrive by the time the transfer window slams shut on September 1. And it appears the Gabon international is edging closer to a blockbuster return to the Premier League, though where he ends up will be intriguing to see.

Manchester United want a new forward having already lost Edinson Cavani this summer, while Mason Greenwood remains unavailable for selection and Cristiano Ronaldo still wants out.

Previously, the club have ruled out Aubameyang. They refused to enter the bidding for the Gabon international when he was at Borussia Dortmund and it was a similar story in January when it was clear he’d be leaving Arsenal behind.

However, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has now claimed United are set to launch a bid for the veteran as they look to improve their options in attack.

Chelsea have, so far, been leading the race for the 33-year-old.

Thomas Tuchel previously managed the striker at Borussia Dortmund and has been seeking a reunion following the departure of Romelu Lukaku, who was allowed to return to former side Inter Milan on loan.

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Chelsea have struggled to get a deal over the line for the Barcelona star, however, who is thought to be on the market as the La Liga giants look to balance their finances.

Aubameyang became a talismanic figure for the Catalan giants upon moving from Arsenal in the New Year, having been cut loose by Mikel Arteta.

Yet with Barcelona deciding to spend big on Robert Lewandowski this summer, it appears Aubameyang’s time in Catalonia could soon be drawing to a close.

He’s shown his class during his spell in La Liga, however, scoring 13 goals in 24 appearances for Xavi’s side.

And those goalscoring statistics may explain why United and Chelsea are so keen on a deal for the forward, despite him entering the twilight years of his career.

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If United do manage to beat Chelsea to the signing of Aubameyang, it’s possible the Gabon star will jostle it out with Ronaldo and Anthony Martial for a starting berth.

And he’d also become their sixth signing of the summer transfer window as well.

Tyrell Malacia was the first, with the Netherlands international moving from Feyenoord at the start of pre-season after previously looking likely to join Lyon.

Christian Eriksen followed on a free transfer, just over a year after many thought the Denmark international would never play again.

Lisandro Martinez was snapped up from Ajax, having previously played under Ten Hag for three seasons in Amsterdam.

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And, most recently, United managed to recruit Casemiro from Real Madrid after abandoning their pursuit of Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong.

Aubameyang isn’t the only player being linked with a move to Old Trafford as the close of the summer transfer window edges closer, too.

Antony remains on the Red Devils’ wishlist, though whether they go back in for the Brazil international having seen an eye-watering £76million bid rejected is yet to be determined.

There’s been talk of a shock return for Memphis Depay, who had previously been expected to join Serie A giants Juventus.

But while there have been claims Marco Asensio has been offered to United, it appears unlikely the Spain international will head to Old Trafford.

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Speaking last week, meanwhile, Barcelona boss Xavi was asked about Aubameyang.

And he suggested ‘circumstances’ would dictate whether the former Arsenal and Dortmund star ends up staying put.

He said: “The window closes at the end of August. Everything is open and we will have to wait for possible departures or arrivals.

“Auba is our player currently and I definitely count on him, but we have to see the rest of the circumstances.”

And the Spaniard then added: “At the moment neither Auba nor Memphis [Depay] have left. Now the priority is to register [Jules] Kounde.”

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