Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is all set to join Barcelona on a free transfer.
The Spanish club haven’t made the news official just yet, but the Gabon international will sign after having his contract at Arsenal terminated on Deadline Day.
Aubameyang was frozen out by Mikel Arteta in north London, the Gunners boss stripping him off the captaincy late last year due to ‘disciplinary issues’.
Arsenal were happy to let the striker go on a free, as it means they’ve removed his enormous £350,000-a-week salary off the wage bill.
It’s believed Aubameyang has taken a substantial pay cut to sign for Barcelona.
The move is certainly one of the biggest from the 2021 January transfer window and it’s one that paves the way for the renewal of a truly bizarre footballing rivalry.
Who’s the other player in question? Real Madrid‘s Toni Kroos, who will likely come face-to-face with Aubameyang in the final El Clasico league fixture of the 2021/22 season.
The pair aren’t exactly close friends and it all started when Kroos took aim at the ex-Borussia Dortmund man over his mask celebrations.
Kroos calls out Aubameyang over mask celebration
“Aubameyang once celebrated and took out a mask. That’s where it ends with me. I don’t think that’s a good role model, either. What nonsense,” the German said on the Einfach mal Luppen podcast he hosts, as per Sport Bild.
The resulting Twitter feud
Aubameyang took offence to that, posting on Twitter: “By the way. Does this @ToniKroos have Kids? Just to remember i did it for my son few Times and i will do it again I wish you have Kids one day and make them happy like this Junior School pupils. And don’t Forget #maskon #staysafe.”
Kroos then replied on the social media platform: “THIS Toni Kroos has three kids.”
Aubameyang couldn’t leave it there, though, the 32-year-old posting another tweet of him and former Dortmund teammate Marco Reus with the caption: “Send @ToniKroos congratulations for his 3 Kids cordially your Batman and Robin.”
That was the end of it, although things could kick off again in the build-up to El Clasico on March 20th…