Chelsea are increasingly confident of completing the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona but view the former Arsenal captain as a stop-gap.
Thomas Tuchel has already spent over £150million this summer but has thus far shied away from recruiting a direct replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
The club’s record signing failed to live up to his billing following his £97m move from Inter and has returned to the Serie A club on a two-year loan having fallen out with Tuchel.
In response, the German has turned to a striker he knows well from their time together at Dortmund and is set to capitalise on the financial chaos engulfing the Catalan giants.
Aubameyang only joined Barcelona in January after his contract was terminated by Arsenal following a series of disciplinary breaches.
The 33-year-old rediscovered his form at Camp Nou and his goals helped Barcelona qualify for the Champions League but his playing time this season is likely to be compromised by the arrival of Robert Lewandowski.
Aubameyang started last week’s draw against Rayo Vallecano on the bench and although his preference is said to be to remain at Barcelona, the idea of being Chelsea’s main striker and a reunion with Tuchel is understood to appeal.
Barcelona will demand £23m for the Gabon international, a fee Chelsea are more than prepared to pay despite viewing him as only a short-term solution to their striker shortage.
Chelsea have already identified Christopher Nkunku as their No.1 target for next summer (Picture: Getty)
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According to The Telegraph, the Blues have already identified RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku as their No.1 priority for next summer having been forced to wait for the France international who signed a new contract during the close season.
Chelsea’s spending this summer is far from over, however, with Tuchel keen to press ahead with plans to sign Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana, who has already been the subject of two failed bids.
The Blues have also seen an opening offer for Everton’s Anthony Gordon rejected and it remains to be seen with a new bid that matche’s the Toffee’s £50m valuation.