Barcelona: Aubameyang hopes to team up with former Dortmund partner Dembele
Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng is hoping to play with Ousmane Dembélé at Barcelona, but that looks a distant prospect with the Frenchman exiled.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is holding out hope that he can be reunited with contract rebel Ousmane Dembélé in the Barcelona team.
Dembélé has resisted calls to sign new terms to extend his contract, that runs out at the end of this season, and that stance has seen him exiled from matchday squads.
Barcelona were frustrated they could not sell Dembélé in January, amid reported strong interest from Paris Saint-Germain, and they face losing him on a free transfer unless he can be persuaded to commit.
The 24-year-old French winger played with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund in the 2016-17 season, and they remain close.
Auba: "I've got to tell you the truth, he's training really well"
"I've got to tell you the truth, he's training really well," Aubameyang said at his Camp Nou presentation on Thursday.
"If anything, as a friend of Ousmane, I hope he and the club will find a solution.
"Knowing Ousmane as a player, he's a fantastic player of course. Like I said before, I hope that he finds an answer. This is something I can't decide."
Aubameyang joined the LaLiga giants after being released from his contract with Arsenal, agreeing a deal until June 2025 with an option to cut ties earlier, in June 2023. The deal includes a buy-out clause of €100million.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said Aubameyang had made "a sacrifice" to come to Barcelona, seemingly firming up the recent suggestion he has taken a pay cut.
"You know that once we have a more healthy financial situation, we will help you as you are helping Barça now," Laporta told Aubameyang.
The 32-year-old Barcelona new recruit fell out of favour with Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, resulting in him losing the captaincy at Emirates Stadium and being left out of recent squads.
Aubameyang was accused of failing to show the right level of commitment, and was punished for disciplinary breaches.
"He wasn't happy and that was it," said Aubameyang, when asked about Arteta. "I can't say anything else because that's what happened. I'm better this way.
"There were some complicated months. Sometimes football is like that. On my behalf, I never wanted to do anything bad, but OK, now I have to put this behind me."
The Gabon international added: "I'm very happy and very grateful to you, Mr President, for signing me. This is an honour for me to be here, to play for Barça, so I'm very happy.
"I hope to score an awful lot of goals for Barca. I've always had the dream to play in LaLiga. I think this is an incredible opportunity that I've dreamt of since I was a child.
"This is the opportunity of my life."