Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s return to Barcelona is reliant on Memphis Depay leaving, claims Luke Edwards.
The Gabonese previously joined Barcelona 12 months ago after leaving Arsenal before a six-month stay at Camp Nou ended with him signing for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
After scoring three times in his first five games in west London, the 33-year-old has failed to find the net since October and could well be on his way again, with Graham Potter not fancying him to lead the line.
Spanish outlet AS recently reported that another turn in this chaotic year could see him yet again leave for Barcelona, with the former Gunner thought to be unhappy.
Speaking on BBC’s Transfer Gossip Daily podcast, Edwards claimed that whilst a deal is on the cards, there are lots of moving parts that need to be finalised first.
He said: “The move has pretty much turned sour, he’s not really playing, he’s not getting a game. They’ve just signed Joao Felix on loan, so they need to make some room, and Barcelona are sitting there rubbing their hands, going, ‘yeah, send him back to us on a free transfer.’
“I think this transfer is now reliant on Depay leaving to make room for Aubameyang. Whether Chelsea will let him go for free, I don’t know. You have to say that is a sign of mismanagement.
“I think having got Joao Felix in, they will probably be willing to let him go – you don’t want him stinking out the place with a bad attitude.”
TIF Thoughts on Edwards’ comments…
An incredibly untidy 12 months in Aubameyang’s career almost sums up the panic of the winter window alongside how chaotic it’s been at Chelsea and Barcelona over the past year at least.
And with Memphis Depay linked to Felix’s parent club, Atletico Madrid, it seems the Portuguese ace’s move to the Bridge is set to have a full-circle effect, with the huge sticking point in the deal being that if Aubameyang leaves Chelsea, he has to move to Barcelona.
Speaking previously on Sky Sports, Dharmesh Sheth revealed that because Aubameyang has already played for two clubs this season, he wouldn’t be able to play for a third.
This means Chelsea can only hedge their bets on a return to Barcelona to move Aubameyang on, which would leave the Catalans in a one-horse race if the Blues are willing to call it a day.