Barcelona have responded to Arsenal’s attempt to offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the London club made contact over a shock transfer.
Despite being in a poor financial position that has prevented them from registering some of their signings, they are still exploring the possibility of signing a striker before the transfer window closes.
Reports in Spain initially claimed that Barca reached out to Arsenal about signing either Aubameyang or Lacazette, but now it appears it was the Gunners who initiated the discussions.
According to RAC1, Aubameyang was offered to Barcelona by Arsenal – or possibly intermediaries working on behalf of the player – to see if there was interest.
The Premier League club are trying to fund a squad overhaul and are keen to get one of the two strikers off their books as Arteta plans his ‘unprecedented’ rebuild.
But Barcelona have turned down the approach and are not interested in signing any of the two players, while a mooted swap deal involving Coutinho is not on the cards either.
The 32-year-old’s enormous wages – the Arsenal captain is believed to earn around £350,000-per-week – also mean he is an unrealistic target for Barca.
Instead the Spanish club’s priority is to sell players and they are looking to sell Samuel Umtiti and Pjanic, while Lenglet is also available for sale.
If Barca are able to recoup a significant amount of money from transfers and reduce their wage bill then signing a striker could be back on the cards, with Ronald Koeman confirming he wanted a new frontman.
“Seeing all the positions of the team we lack people in front,”he explained at the weekend.
“0Ansu [Fati], [Ousmane] Dembele, [Sergio] Aguero are missing. We lack there and that is why we have talked about the possibility of signing a forward to have more players and more competition. It all depends on whether we can sign.”