Barcelona are keen to bring Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Camp Nou in the January transfer window, according to reports.
The Gunners confirmed last week that Aubameyang was no longer the club skipper after he committed another disciplinary breach ahead of their match against Southampton ten days ago.
Arsenal hinted in their statement that there had been several incidents of the Gabon international breaking the rules.
The club said on their website: “Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.
“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”
And Aubameyang has now been out of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad for their last three matches against Southampton, West Ham and Leeds United.
Barcelona are looking for a new striker following Sergio Aguero’s retirement from football with a heart problem and the Daily Mail claims that the Catalan giants ‘have been alerted’ to Aubameyang’s ‘exile’ at the Emirates Stadium.
The La Liga outfit ‘would be interested in signing him on loan next month’ but the report reckons his ‘his £350,000-a-week wages are a potential stumbling block for the cash-strapped Catalan club’.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will not use the ongoing disruption caused by Covid as an excuse for any dip in form, according to Arteta.
The Gunners have been one of the clubs who have fared best amid the latest outbreak sweeping through the Premier League, decimating the fixture scheduler along the way.
Their 4-1 win at Leeds was the only top-flight game to survive on Saturday as the victory ensured Arsenal would be in the top four at Christmas.
They host Sky Bet League One outfit Sunderland in the last eight of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, with Arteta stressing the need to roll with the punches and have plans in place to deal as well as possible with any Covid issues.
Asked whether he has had to take a different approach in recent weeks, Arteta replied: “Have a really positive approach and your mindset ready that unpredictable things are going to happen – and stop complaining about everything that happens.
“Then you will find excuses. We can find excuses for everything. We know what is going to happen, we know bad news will come probably, so we have to expect it and try to prevent it if we can with all the protocols we have.
“But we have to be prepared as well with Plan B, C and D.”
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