Barcelona are set to reject all approaches for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the club keen to keep the forward at the Camp Nou.
Chelsea are understood to be interested in a deal to sign Aubameyang, who faces increased competition for a first-team place following the arrivals of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.
Despite a need to raise funds and reduce their wage bill, Barcelona have decided that Aubameyang remains a part of their plans and AS are reporting that all approaches will be ‘totally rejected’.
The 33-year-old signed for Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal in January and scored 13 goals in 23 appearances for the Spanish side last season.
Xavi is understood to value Aubameyang’s goal threat and professionalism and views the Gabon international as the ideal alternative to Lewandowski in attack.
The forward’s role in the dressing room is also appreciated and Aubameyang is reportedly willing to lower his salary in order to facilitate the registration of new signings, including the renewal of Ousmane Dembele’s contract.
Chelsea had hoped to add Aubameyang to their options before the closure of the transfer window, with Thomas Tuchel having worked with the forward at Borussia Dortmund. Aubameyang scored 79 goals across his two seasons under Tuchel’s management at the Bundesliga side.
Barcelona are preparing to sanction the departure of fellow forwards Memphis Depay – who is thought to be close to an agreement with Juventus – and the sale of Aubameyang would leave the Catalans short of goalscorers.