ARSENAL have terminated Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract to allow his dismissed skipper to join Barcelona on a permanent transfer for FREE.
The Gabon striker, 32, ‘surprised’ the Gunners by flying to the Catalan capital on Monday morning to force a move – exactly four years after moving to England.
But a loan deal appeared to fall apart, with the two sides unable to negotiate Auba’s mammoth £350,000-a-week salary.
Arsenal refused to pay the majority of the money if their former captain played for the La Liga giants.
But just when it looked like the striker would be forced to return to London with his tail between his legs, Arsenal and Auba struck a remarkable compromise just three hours before the transfer window closed.
Arsenal simply allowed the outcast to leave, voiding his contract as they did with Mesut Ozil a year ago.
Aubameyang has cut all ties with Arsenal and will not return to the Emirates.
And that paved the way for Barcelona to negotiate directly with the player, who essentially became a free agent.
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There is an agreement for a permanent agreement for an initial period of six months – with the option of an additional year.
This means Arsenal will save £26million on the wages Aubameyang owed over the remaining 18 months of his contract.
But they also wrote off a player who cost them £60m when he joined Borussia Dortmund that day in 2018.
It is understood that Aubameyang – the Gunners’ sixth January start – is taking a massive pay cut to sign for Barcelona, who operate under strict FFP regulations after reporting a financial loss of £1.6billion the year last.
The final details of his new paperwork have been settled in Spain.
Aubameyang also passed a medical before the 11 p.m. deadline.
Hospital staff have been told to prepare for the attacker’s arrival to get everything done and dusted off in time.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta previously insisted the club would ‘work until the last minute’ to secure a deal on the line.
And that’s exactly what they did, finalizing the move late into the night.
Aubameyang’s initially premature arrival at Barcelona drew comparisons to Peter Odemwingie’s ill-fated bid to join Queens Park Rangers in January 2013.
The Nigerian was pictured in his car at Loftus Road but no deal materialised.
Seeing the funny side after the comparison was pointed out to him on Twitter, Odemwingie himself joked, “Someone sent me the first pic.
“Do I pass the award? Aubameyang just make sure you ask Aguero for advice.”
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