Newcastle approach Arsenal for ex-captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on loan-to-buy deal

Arteta reflects on 'unpleasant situation' as Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captaincy

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The Mirror claims the Magpies are looking at bringing Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 32, to St James’ Park for the remainder of the season with the option to make the move permanent in a deal worth £20million. Aubameyang, who bagged a brace for Arsenal when the Gunners defeated London rivals Chelsea in the 2020 FA Cup Final, has had a tough time of late at the Emirates under manager Mikel Arteta, 39.

The striker, who joined Arsenal from German side Borussia Dortmund back in 2018, hasn’t played for the club since their 2-1 defeat to Everton on December 6 and was stripped of the Arsenal armband following an alleged breach in discipline.

When Arteta was quizzed on why he dropped Arsenal’s third-leading Premier League goalscorer following their victory against Norwich at Carrow Road on Boxing Day, the Spaniard said: “He wasn’t selected for today’s match.

“We’ll take it game by game.

“That was the decision.”

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Aubameyang has had a disappointing start to the season, scoring just four goals in 14 Premier League fixtures.

He also struggled to find the net last season scoring just 10 in 29 as Arsenal finished behind rivals Tottenham, West Ham and Chelsea to end up in eighth place.

In contrast, Aubameyang scored 22 in 36 appearances during the 2019-20 season.

The striker is now on international duty with Gabon in preparation for the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Relegation-threatened Newcastle, who sit in 19th place with just one win this season, could make Aubameyang the club’s first major signing since the North East side came under Saudi-led ownership in October.

The January transfer window is considered to be a crucial moment for Newcastle United after forwards Callum Wilson, 29, and Allan Saint-Maximin, 24, gave the Magpies fresh injury concerns following their draw with Manchester United.

The Magpies already replaced ex-Manchester United defender and Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, 60, with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, 44, at St James’ in November.

Speaking about Newcastle’s January transfer plans, Howe said: “Wait and see, I can’t give you promises on that at the moment.

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“As I’ve said before, there’s people above me who are working and looking at that.

“My focus is the team. A lot of games coming up and that is where it has to be.

“But we’ll wait and see. January, as I said many many times, is notoriously difficult to predict and to have a clear plan at this moment is still virtually impossible because there’s twists and turns to come.

“The group of players we have here is my and has been my main focus, will continue to be my main focus because as you say, getting the best out of every single one of those players is the key to us staying up.”

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