Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was one of the strikers on the Barcelona transfer shortlist in January, according to technical secretary Eric Abidal.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 09: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after he scores his sides third goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal FC at London Stadium on December 09, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Barcelona technical secretary Eric Abidal held an interview with Spanish outlet Sport this week, and he mentioned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang among the club’s list of January targets.

“There is a list with players like Giroud, Llorente or Aubameyang,” Abidal said (via SportWitness). “But for one thing or another, we decided not to sign. We believe it is best for the club.”

On Aubameyang specifically, Abidal suggested he knows how important the player is to Arsenal. He concluded with a rather ominous statement about seeing what will happen next.

“I know him. I do not have much to do beyond sports. He has a profile that has depth. He is important, and in his team he is decisive. It is good to bring this profile of player who can be in the market and can help you. We’ll see what will happen.”

It’s very possible Barcelona come back for Aubameyang in the summer. The 30-year-old will only have one year left on his contract by then, and Arsenal could look to cash in. Abidal suggests are certainly planning to sign a striker.

“It is logical that in summer a ‘9’ will come,” Abidal added. “It is a necessity. We know that Suarez will come back strong, but you have to bring a top player in the summer.”

The Aubameyang-to-Barcelona story never seemed likely to come to fruition in January. Some reports suggested the club were even proposing a loan deal to Arsenal, something the Gunners would have no reason whatsoever to accept.

Arsenal were still expecting a move right up until the conclusion of the window, but they held onto their top scorer in the end.