Barcelona are planning to make a loan offer to Arsenal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to a joint-report from Charles Watts & Ignasi Oliva of Goal.

Having lost Luis Suarez for around four months due to a knee injury, Barcelona officials have apparently agreed that the club should look to bring in a new forward this summer and it looks like the Arsenal captain is one of their top targets.

The report from Goal indicates that the current Spanish champions want to take Aubameyang on loan until the end of the season, where they’d then look for a player to bring in on a long-term basis.

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Thankfully, from an Arsenal point of view, the report from Watts and Oliva claims that any such loan offer is likely to be turned down by the Gunners as they want their captain to sign a new long-term contract at the Emirates.

Arsenal have scored 30 goals in the Premier League this season, which is the second-lowest amount by any team in the current top ten (ninth placed Crystal Palace have scored 22 goals), and of those 30 goals, 46.7% of them have been scored by Aubameyang.

The 30-year-old striker has scored 14 times in the league this season, with Arsenal’s next highest league scorer being Alexandre Lacazette who has found the back of the net just five times.

The stats make the reliance on the Gabonese striker for goals clear to see and whilst there is a chance that other players could fill the void if he were to leave, we think it would be a huge mistake to allow him to go, especially on loan in January.

Mikel Arteta has only recently taken charge of Arsenal and the club allowing his most effective goal scorer to leave just weeks later would be a huge blow to the Spaniard.

Where Arsenal, and Arteta, might have a decision to make regarding Aubameyang‘s future will be this summer, if he hasn’t put pen-to-paper on a new deal by that point.

That will mean he has just 12 months left on his contract at the Emirates and he’ll enter the 2020/21 season knowing that in January 2021, he’ll be free to speak to foreign clubs about a possible free transfer in the following summer.

If we do get to the end of the current campaign and the captain has still shown no desire to sign a new contract at the Emirates, we think the Gunners would be wise to look to sell him at that point.

That would allow Arsenal to bring in some funds to spend on a possible replacement for the striker and it would prevent Arteta and the club’s staff from having to answer questions about the striker’s contract situation and his future, thus eliminating one possible distraction for everyone at the Emirates