Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked with Arsenal exit as Barcelona circle

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Barcelona have identified the Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as their top January target as the LaLiga giants hunt for a new striker.

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New Barca boss Quique Setien is on the lookout for a centre-forward to replace the injured Luis Suarez, with the Uruguay international set to be sidelined for four months after undergoing keyhole surgery on his right knee.

Suarez has scored 14 goals in just 23 games this season – he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines

Whereas last season Barcelona signed Kevin-Prince Boateng on a short-term loan to provide striker cover, the Catalans this year would prefer to sign a dedicated no.9 who can be relied on to score goals and replace the superb Suarez.

And it appears Aubameyang, who has found the back of the net 16 times this campaign, is Barca’s top target.

Mundo Deportivo say the interest in Gabon forward Aubameyang is strong, though Barcelona are well aware Arsenal will demand a huge fee for the 30-year-old and these financial demands may ruin any chance of a deal being done this month.

The Gunners do not want to lose their finest goalscorer midway through the season, especially as they currently sit 10th in the Premier League and are in a real fight to qualify for European competition.

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