Former Arsenal forward refusing to sign for London rivals

Former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would prefer to remain at Barcelona than signing for the Gunners direct PL rivals Chelsea.

The Blues are in need of a new centre-forawrd after losing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner – with the West London giants keen on securing the services of former Arsenal striker this summer – and it is believed that the Gabon international is willing to hear them out if they make an approach.

Gabon international forward has a great relationship with Thomas Tuchel, however, only joined La Liga giants, Barcelona in January following his controversial exit from the North London giants, which saw his deal terminated after he fell out with manager Mikel Arteta.

The ex-Arsenal skipper enjoyed a reputation-restoring second half to last campaign during which he managed to found back of the net 13 times in all competitions, however, his Barcelona future has suddenly become shrouded in uncertainty.

However, according to the latest reports, Aubameyang is planning to snub Chelsea interest in order to remain at Nou Camp.

Aubameyang’s agents are set for key talks with Barcelona’s hierarchy and Chelsea will wait for the outcome of those negotiations before making official approach.

Speaking at the height of his Gunners exile last December, Tuchel was effusive in his praise of the 33-year-old, who helped the North London giants to claim the 2019-20 FA Cup trophy.

Tuchel said: ‘I can only say the best things about Auba as a player and as a person.

‘I feel sorry for him that he’s in trouble. This is not where he should be with his kind of quality and the positive character that he has – and I still believe in that.

‘But I’m not involved, and I’m not involved in what’s going on at his club now, and for this I also want to show my respect [to Arsenal] and not be involved and not judge what is right and wrong.

‘I just have my picture and my relationship with Auba and this is not affected by that.’