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Chelsea sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona for €12 million

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is returning to the Premier League after Chelsea completed a deal to sign the forward from Barcelona for a fee of €12 million, the clubs revealed on Thursday.

Aubameyang has signed a two-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

The 33-year-old only joined Barcelona in January on a free transfer from Arsenal, but was relegated to a backup role following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski.

Despite that, manager Xavi Hernandez was still keen to keep the striker, but the Catalan club’s need to raise money to invest in other areas, coupled with their depth in attack, forced them to consider offers.

“I’m really happy. It’s an honor to be part of this team and I can’t wait to start,” Aubameyang told Chelsea’s website. “I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and really exciting.”

Shortly following Aubameyang’s arrival, Chelsea also announced the signing of Juventus midfielder Denis Zakaria on loan for the rest of the season.

The deal includes an option to make the move permanent next summer.

Aubameyang was the victim of an armed assault by a gang at his home in Barcelona earlier this week in which he and his wife were handcuffed and tied up. Sources have told ESPN the striker will be out of action for around three weeks after he was left with a broken jaw following the incident.

He will return to London, where he spent four years playing for Arsenal, and will be reunited with coach Thomas Tuchel, who he previously played under at Borussia Dortmund. He will become part of a new-look Chelsea attack, which also features Raheem Sterling, following the summer departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

“Pierre-Emerick is an elite striker with a proven track record in the Premier League and his arrival strengthens our squad, giving us new attacking options,” Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly said. “We are thrilled to have Pierre-Emerick on board with us in the new era at Chelsea and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”

Aubameyang’s spell in Barcelona was brief but fruitful. He scored 13 goals for the Blaugrana in all competitions, including 11 in 17 league games as he helped them finish in second place and qualify for the Champions League last term.

The former Gabon international had signed for Barcelona on the final day of the transfer window in January on a free transfer after Arsenal agreed to rescind his contract. During his time with Arsenal, he scored 92 goals in 163 games, including three in seven outings against his new side Chelsea.

Prior to joining Arsenal, the striker had a successful five years at Dortmund, netting 98 goals in 144 appearances for the German club.

On a busy final day of the transfer window for Chelsea, the club also revealed that defender Marcos Alonso’s contract was terminated by mutual consent. The Spain international, who spent six years with Chelsea, is set to join Barcelona. Chelsea also confirmed the departures on permanent deals of Billy Gilmour and Kenedy to Brighton and Real Valladolid, respectively.

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