Saudi Arabian football club Al-Nassr have made an offer for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of a loan with an obligation to buy in the summer.
The Gunners are yet to respond to the bid, but they are understood to be ready to part ways with the player.
Charles Watts confirms that Arsenal have received an offer from Al-Nassr, putting the purchase obligation at roughly the same figure – £7m. Again, Watts adds that Arsenal are yet to respond.
The news was initially broken by Twitter account Canary Leaks, who tweeted out that Arsenal had an offer of a loan with an obligation to buy from a non-European club.
Most of the details in the Canary Leaks tweet lines up with Benge and Watts, but notably, they also mentioned that Arsenal were expected to respond before the weekend.
The Evening Standard add that it’s not yet clear whether or not Aubameyang himself would be open to the move.
On the surface of it, an initial loan deal and a purchase clause of £7m maximum doesn’t seem like a great deal for a big-name player like Aubameyang. But there are obviously some factors that will make Arsenal consider it.
For a start, Aubameyang is now 32, and it’s relatively rare for players to command eight-figure transfer fees once they’re in their thirties.
Secondly, the striker has recently been away from the matchday squad due to disciplinary issues, reducing his transfer value.
Then there’s the ongoing saga with AFCON, with Gabon sending Aubameyang back to Arsenal. Whether you believe the reports that he caused unrest in the camp, or that it was simply a health concern, it’s another blow to his valuation.
With all that in mind, Arsenal also have to consider the savings they’d make on Aubameyang’s wages. There are various reports on exactly how much he earns, but it’s believed to be at least £1m-per-month, so £18m to the end of his Arsenal deal.
If he’s not going to be a regular starter for Arsenal, that £18m is just going down the drain from the club’s point of view.
Arsenal may still hold out for more money for their former club captain, but you can see why they’ll consider their options now.