Arsenal fans would be forgiven for having a horrible feeling that history may be about to repeat itself with The Sun claiming on Thursday that Manchester United want Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang’s future at the Emirates looks uncertain. The Sun reports that his contract expires next summer. And the Gunners have accepted that he will not pen fresh terms.
Some supporters may be hoping that Arsenal decide to hold onto Aubameyang and risk losing him on a free next summer. But it appears that the club have other ideas.
The Sun reports that Arsenal would prefer to sell Aubameyang this summer than risk a free transfer. And that of course, opens the door for the Gabon international to potentially follow in the footsteps of Robin van Persie.
It may be a horrible thought for Arsenal fans. But for the Gunners, dealing with Manchester United may present Mikel Arteta’s men with an opportunity.
According to a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal are one of three English clubs keen on signing Chris Smalling. Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are also interested.
If Arsenal are, at all, willing to let Aubameyang join Manchester United, perhaps they may look to use that interest to give them an advantage to beat the likes of Spurs and Everton to Smalling’s signature.
It should be noted that such an agreement would almost definitely not go down well with Arsenal fans.
Despite Smalling’s success on loan at Roma, his arrival would provide little consolation for losing Aubameyang.
But if the centre-back is a top target for Arteta, he may feel that some kind of swap makes the best of a bid situation for the Gunners.
If Aubameyang is leaving this summer, Arsenal landing one of their targets as part of the deal may provide a silver lining – but they cannot expect the fans to see it that way.