Big-spending Chelsea swoop for Barcelona’s Aubameyang

"I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it's good to be back," says Aubameyang.

Chelsea signed Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a reported £10.3 million (12 million euro) deal on Thursday as the club’s incredible transfer window spending went over £240 million.

Backed by Chelsea’s new owners, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has embarked on a frenzied shopping spree that culminated with the deadline-beating swoop for Gabon star Aubameyang.

The deal, announced after the window officially shut at 2200 GMT, brings Aubameyang back to the Premier League on a two-year contract just months after he left Arsenal following a rift with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

Aubameyang fell out with Arteta over a number of disciplinary incidents, including his failure to report to training on time after visiting his ill mother in France.

Chelsea hope Aubameyang’s reunion with Tuchel will bring the best out of the 33-year-old after he thrived during their time together at Borussia Dortmund.

“I’m really happy. It’s an honour to be part of this team and I can’t wait to start,” Aubameyang told Chelsea’s website.

“I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and really exciting.”

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly added: “Pierre-Emerick is an elite striker with a proven track record in the Premier League and his arrival strengthens our squad, giving us new attacking options. 

“We are thrilled to have Pierre-Emerick on board with us in the new era at Chelsea and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”

Surplus to requirements

Having only arrived at Barcelona in January, Aubameyang scored 13 goals in 24 games, but was deemed surplus to requirements by the cash-strapped Spanish club.

“FC Barcelona publicly expresses its gratitude to Aubameyang for his professionalism, commitment, dedication and ever-present positive and warm approach regarding every aspect involving the club,” the Catalan giants said in a statement.

“We wish him the best of fortune and every success in the future. Your smile radiated happiness both on and off the pitch, thank you. Barca will always be your home.”

Tuchel was desperate to sign a striker after allowing unsettled Belgian Romelu Lukaku to rejoin Inter Milan on loan in the summer.

Aubameyang should fit the bill with a proven Premier League pedigree after finishing as the competition’s joint top-scorer in 2018-19, as well as winning the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2020.

However, Aubameyang may not be available immediately after revealing he suffered a fractured jaw during an assault by a group of four men who broke into his home and threatened him with firearms.

Aubameyang is the latest high-profile arrival at Stamford Bridge since Todd Boehly, the American fronting the consortium that bought Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, took control of the club’s transfer activities.

Chelsea have splashed out £50 million on Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, £60 million on Brighton defender Marc Cucurella and £33 million on Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

They also paid £70 million for Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana and another £18 million for Aston Villa midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka.

Despite their huge investment in new signings, Chelsea have struggled so far this season, losing two of their first five games to fall off the early pace in the title race.