Tactical Insights

Former Barcelona sports director says he wanted player they sold to Chelsea to stay at the club for several years

Former Barcelona sports director Jordi Cryuff has revealed that he wanted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was sold to Chelsea, to stay at the club for much longer. The Culers confirmed Aubameyang’s free signing from Arsenal in the winter transfer window of 2022 after he fell out with Gunners manager Mikel Arteta.

He notably had 18 months left on his deal with the Gunners, but he decided against completing his contract, instead leaving for free to Camp Nou. While in Spain, the Gabon striker showed his quality in the final third, scoring 11 goals in 17 La Liga appearances.

However, by the end of the same season, Chelsea had come calling for Aubameyang, and Barcelona were willing to sell him. The deal saw Marcos Alonso leave Stamford Bridge. The Blues also added £10 million to sweeten it, pure profit for the Blaugrana, who have been struggling financially.

Aubameyang ended up struggling to play well for Chelsea, eventually leaving for Marseille after just making 15 Premier League games in the 2022-23 season. However, Jordi Cruyff has revealed his wish that the striker stayed at Camp Nou (via Barca Universal):

“If it had been for us, we would have liked Aubameyang to stay for several years.”

Overall, Aubameyang made 24 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 13 goals and providing one assist.

Chelsea prepare move for Barcelona defender: Reports

According to a report via Football365, Chelsea are set to make a move for Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo worth up to €100 million. The defender is one of the highest-rated players in the world. His signing could help the Blues shore up their defense ahead of their next chapter under Todd Boehly.

The west London club finished sixth in the Premier League, but have only been able to secure Europa Conference League football for the next year. Issues with their defense saw the Blues fail to keep the miserly backline they’re known for, conceding 63 goals in just 38 games.

Chelsea are currently without a head coach after mutually parting ways with Mauricio Pochettion. The Londoners might have to wait till they fill that glaring vacancy before they bring in a player with such a massive fee.

Barcelona are also without a manager following their decision to sack Xavi Hernandez. While Hansi Flick has been touted to replace the Spaniard, an announcement has not yet been made.

The potential signing will go a long way to help both sides return to the heights they believe they should be at. The Blaugrana will hope to use the money they receive to solve their well-documented financial problems. Meanwhile, the Blues will hope Araujo can help them return to the top of the Premier League.