GB About: Aubameyang Publish: 02/15/2022 Edit: 02/15/2022 Author: Gardener
Arsenal reportedly turned down a chance to negotiate a swap deal with French giants PSG in January that could have seen strikers Mauro Icardi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join the Ligue 1 leaders. The Gunners' former skipper was allowed to leave the club and sealed a free transfer to Barcelona on the last day of the January window. However, things could reportedly have been very different if Arsenal had changed their transfer stance. The Athletic's David Ornstein claims the north London side do not want to change their policy of moving in for Aubameyang's replacement by the summer. That meant Icardi, who replaced the Gabon striker last month, never had a chance to materialize. The report adds that the Gunners already had a list of targets to move to should Aubameyang leave and Icardi never stood on it. Mikel Arteta's men eventually did not sign a replacement, opting instead to keep Alexandre Lacazette as the main batting option. As for Icardi, the Argentine has only scored five goals in 25 games for Mauricio Pochettino's side this season. The 28-year-old is also struggling to play in the Champions League for a loaded PSG attack. The report claims that PSG would have been open to the possibility of a potential swap. But that opportunity now seems completely gone as Arsenal look for other names this summer. Arteta is expected to be on the market for at least two new strikers. The need is likely to be great as Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of the contract in a matter of months. Meanwhile, Arsenal have their sights set on AC Milan's Rafael Leao as they try to overhaul their forward line, although Newcastle could torpedo their plans, according to a report. The Gunners' forward line could look unrecognizable next season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already left for Barcelona, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah will both be free agents in the summer. Arsenal tried to sign Dusan Vlahovic last month but were beaten by Juventus. Therefore, it's not out of the question that Mikel Arteta might need two or even three new strikers in the summer. However, the latest from The Sun puts Arsenal in the frame for left winger Rafael Leao. The 22-year-old Portugal international is having his best season yet at AC Milan. State-run newspaper Arsenal have taken note and, citing the Spanish press, claim they 'hope to strike a deal in the summer'. The article does not specify how much Leao would cost in the current market. Leao reportedly became a target for Everton and Wolves in 2021 and both were 'told to spend £50m'. But whether a lower offer would bring Milan to the table only time will tell. At 22, Leao fits the age profile of players Arsenal have been looking to sign in recent windows. Every player they signed last summer was aged 24 and under when Arsenal boss Edu targeted stars in their prime. Still, Arsenal are unlikely to have a free run at Leao next summer - assuming Newcastle beat the drop. The Sun add Leao is a target for the magpies.
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