Thomas Tuchel previews Chelsea's trip to Southampton
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to fly to England this afternoon in order to complete his expected move to Chelsea before tonight’s cut-off point, according to reports. The former Arsenal man is set to join the Blues on an initial two-year contract after they managed to agree a deadline-day deal with Barcelona to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
The proposal will see Marcos Alonso go the other way to the Nou Camp, while Chelsea will also pay a nominal fee of less than £8million in exchange for Aubameyang’s signature. The latter is now making his way to London in order to thrash out the formalities of the move before he can be officially unveiled as a new Chelsea player, according to Relevo.
It is claimed that Chelsea have all but secured a deal to land Aubameyang, who only joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal in January, but still need to wrap up a few minor details to finally get over the line. He is set to sign a two-year deal with the Blues, who will have the option of extending his stay by an additional year after bowing to the player’s demands earlier this week.
Chelsea had also been linked with a potential move for AC Milan forward Rafael Leao but are expected to shelve their interest and return to the negotiating table when the transfer window re-opens at the turn of the year. Those in power at Stamford Bridge have reportedly been quoted an asking price in the region of £130m, which has put them off the idea of chasing the 23-year-old’s services ahead of tonight’s 11pm deadline.
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Aubameyang, meanwhile, suffered a fractured jaw in an attack on his home over the weekend and is expected to be out of action for around three weeks. He will be able to resume non-contact training in a matter of days, though, and his situation is not expected to throw a spanner in the works regarding his seemingly imminent move to Chelsea.
Chelsea have already spent in excess of £240m on new players over the course of this summer but are thought to be keen on adding a new forward and a central midfielder before the window finally slams shut. Aubameyang has already been tipped to shine in west London if he joins the Blues today by Arsenal legend Ray Parlour, who believes that the Gabon international has the ability to make an instant impact for Thomas Tuchel’s side this season.
“For me, it’s a no-brainer for Chelsea, it really is,” Parlour told talkSPORT earlier this week. “[Timo] Werner has gone back to RB Leipzig, so they’re lacking goals and Aubameyang will definitely score.
“Before he signed his new contract at Arsenal, he was brilliant. He won the FA Cup for Arsenal on his own, so he’d be a good signing. If you can get him for one season, he’ll be coming back to prove people wrong, that’s what he’ll be trying to do.”
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