Chelsea and Barcelona are reportedly in a “crazy” stand-off over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang – who moved to Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal – has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this summer following the departure of Romelu Lukaku on loan.
Manager Thomas Tuchel is said to be keen on reuniting with the 33-year-old after their success together at Borussia Dortmund.
The Blues have reportedly agreed personal terms with the striker but the clubs are still apart in their valuations.
Chelsea’s first offer of €15m (£12.6m) was turned down last week by Barcelona, who were said to be holding out for €30m (£25.3m).
A report last week claimed Barcelona were tempted by an improved offer from Chelsea of €20m (£16.9m) with add-ons removed from the deal, but Fabrizio Romano claims a “crazy strategy game” is still ongoing.
“Crazy strategy game on the deal. 20 days of strategy game,” the transfer expert said, as per football.london.
“Because FC Barcelona knows that Chelsea wants Aubameyang as a priority and they don’t have many other alternatives with three days left in the window.
“But Chelsea knows that Barcelona needs money for their financial situation, so there is a complicated negotiation going on.”
“At the moment Monday morning, I can say that it is absolutely not advanced between the two clubs.
“I am told that there has been an agreement for his personal terms for two weeks, so I can say that the issue is not with the player.
“The real issue is with Barcelona.”
Romano adds that Chelsea had been hoping to include Marcos Alonso – who has made his desire to leave for Barcelona clear – as part of the deal for Aubamayeng, but the Catalans want the full-back’s deal to be separate.
“Because what Chelsea is offering including Marcos Alonso in the deal is not what Barcelona wants.”
“Barcelona wants to discuss Marcos Alonso in a separate negotiation, but Chelsea wants to include him in the deal.”
“So at the moment no agreement and the feeling I have is that it could be a deadline-day move or the day before.
“New important meeting scheduled on Tuesday for Aubameyang with Chelsea and Barcelona discussing the structure of the deal. Still no full agreement but parties at work.
“Auba still waiting for clubs to agree on the fee — deal up to the two clubs now.”
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