‘I told him’: Aubameyang says he's urged 24-year-old not to leave, after claims he could be set to join Chelsea

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang confessed that he pleaded with Ousmane Dembele not to leave Barcelona at around the time he was being linked to Chelsea.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, the on-loan Arsenal striker spoke openly about his conversation with Dembele once they became teammates again last month.

When Aubameyang made the move from the Emirates to the Camp Nou, many believed he would be taking the place of another departing attacker.

Photo by Xavi Urgeles/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Following his refusal to sign a new contract, Dembele’s Barca career looked on the verge of diminishing.

During the closing hours of the winter window, several claims were made about a potential transfer to Chelsea for the Frenchman.

Thomas Tuchel’s squad seemed at one stage the most likely destination to house the 24-year-old.

However, as the market slammed shut, so did the exit door for Dembele’s escape out of Spain.

He remained to fight another day, joined, rather than replaced, by Aubameyang, who had been able to wriggle free from the jaws of Arsenal.

Best of friends

Perhaps the presence of the former Gunners captain actually caused Dembele to rethink his strategy.

After all, the pair successfully shared a dressing room at Borussia Dortmund before heading their separate ways across the continent.

“It is something very special because we had an incredible year in Dortmund and he is an incredible player,” said Aubameyang.

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

“Ousmane is one of the best on the ball and as a striker he is incredible. 

“To tell the truth, I am very happy that he is here and when I arrived I told him: ‘You have to stay, man’.”

Dembele still needs to make a final decision

Whatever was actually said, it clearly had some effect.

Dembele decided not to pursue a life in the Premier League, instead choosing to respect the deal he made with Barcelona back in 2017.

In fact, according to Sport, he is now ‘happier than ever’ under Xavi, mainly due to the arrival of Aubameyang.

But the Gabon international might need to revive his powers of persuasion very soon.

Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chelsea have still been mooted as the club set to snap up Dembele once his contract expires in the summer.

Better start the sweet-talking now, Pierre!

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.