Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has joined Barcelona on a free transfer after leaving Arsenal, with the move to be announced on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Gabon striker signed the deal late on Monday evening.
Aubameyang has not played for the Gunners since a disciplinary breach in December but scored 92 goals in 163 games prior to that.
Barcelona feared the move was dead earlier on transfer deadline day, even though Aubameyang had flown to Spain.
He had also been linked with a switch to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.
The former Arsenal captain’s departure will save the Gunners – who bought him for £56m from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 – about £15m in wages. But it leaves boss Mikel Arteta with just Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as his forwards for the remainder of the season.
Aubameyang was sent home early from the Africa Cup of Nations in January because of ongoing health issues.
The forward missed Gabon’s draw with Ghana after scans revealed “heart lesions” following a bout of Covid, although later scans gave him the all-clear.
The story of the deal
Spanish football writer Guillem Balague:
Aubameyang got a private jet to take him to Barcelona and the Spanish club had booked a medical for him because it looked like the move was going to happen.
It wasn’t related to Ousmane Dembele’s departure from the Nou Camp, but if the French forward had gone, Barca would have been able to pay larger wages.
Then, at 6pm, it looked like the move was not going to happen and the financial differences between the two clubs were too big.
This whole affair has been relayed to us almost minute-by-minute by the Barca president Joan Laporta, who is at a Mundo Deportivo awards event. Laporta is in the business of giving hope to the fans and has been describing the situation as it unfolds.
It looked like the transfer wasn’t going to happen because the difference in what Barca could afford in wages and the percentage of Aubameyang’s wages, that Arsenal were prepared to pay, was too great.
Barcelona had 2m euros (£1.6m) in wages to pay and Aubameyang was happy to accept any payment In the end. Then Arsenal accepted a free transfer. That means the Gabon forward may just get 2m euros this season – rather than the circa 9m euros (£7.5m) he was due at Arsenal – and more later.
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