Chelsea sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona for €12 million

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is returning to the Premier League after Chelsea struck a deal to sign the striker from Barcelona for a fee of €12m, the clubs announced on Thursday.

Aubameyang has signed a two-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

The 33-year-old only joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal in January but was relegated to a back-up role following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski.

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Despite this, manager Xavi Hernandez was still keen on keeping the forward but the Catalan club’s need to raise money to invest in other areas and attacking prowess forced them to consider offers.

“I’m really happy. It’s an honor to be part of this team and I can’t wait to start,” Aubameyang told Chelsea’s website. “I have work to do with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and it’s really exciting.”

Shortly after Aubameyang’s arrival, Chelsea also announced the signing of Juventus midfielder Denis Zakaria for the remainder of the season. The deal includes an option to make the move permanent next summer.

Aubameyang was the victim of an armed attack by a gang at his home in Barcelona earlier this week, in which he and his wife were handcuffed and shackled. Sources have told ESPN the forward will be out of action for around three weeks after being left with a broken jaw following the incident.

He returns to London, where he spent four years at Arsenal, and meets coach Thomas Tuchel, under whom he previously played at Borussia Dortmund. Following the summer departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, he becomes part of a revamped Chelsea attack also involving Raheem Sterling.

“Pierre-Emerick is an elite striker with a proven track record in the Premier League and his arrival strengthens our squad and gives us new attacking options,” said Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly. “We are thrilled to have Pierre-Emerick on board in the new era at Chelsea and we look forward to working with him.”

Aubameyang’s stay at Barcelona was short but fruitful. He scored 13 goals for the Blaugrana in all competitions including 11 in 17 league games as he helped them finish second and qualify for the Champions League last season.

The former Gabonese international signed for Barcelona on a free transfer on the last day of the January transfer window after Arsenal agreed to terminate his contract. During his time at Arsenal he scored 92 goals in 163 games, including three in seven games against his new side Chelsea.

Before joining Arsenal, the striker enjoyed five successful years at Dortmund, scoring 98 goals in 144 games for the German club.

On a busy final day of Chelsea’s transfer window, the club also announced that defender Marcos Alonso’s contract had been mutually terminated. The Spain international, who spent six years at Chelsea, is set to join Barcelona.

Chelsea also confirmed the departures on permanent deals of Billy Gilmour and Kenedy to Brighton and Real Valladolid respectively.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4733490/pierre-emerick-aubameyang-joins-chelsea-after-leaving-barcelona Chelsea sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona for €12 million

Emma Bowman

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