Reports: Chelsea, Liverpool set their sights on £54 million-rated Bundesliga striker
What's the story?
The beginning of Borussia Dortmund's season has been far from ideal, with the team currently sitting in 5th place in the Bundesliga table, eight points behind league leaders Bayern. Dortmund are also on the verge of a premature exit from the Champions League, having failed to win a single match in the group stages.
Dortmund threw away a 4-0 lead against Schalke on Saturday, after suffering a capitulation in the second half. Star-striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off in the 72nd minute, and the Gabon international has drawn flak from his team-mates and coach for the red card.
In the aftermath of the match, The Sun has reported that Liverpool and Chelsea are interested in signing the striker and offering him an escape from his current situation at Dortmund.
In case you didn't know...
Aubameyang began his professional career at AC Milan after spending a year in their reserve squad. He was sent out on loan four times during his stint at AC Milan and converted his last move into a permanent transfer to Saint Etienne. The Gabonese striker scored 29 goals in 54 appearances for Saint Etienne, earning a move to Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
He replaced the Bayern-bound Robert Lewandowski and took to the Bundesliga like a duck to water. Aubameyang scored a hat-trick on his first full appearance for the club and since then the striker has added another 130 goals to his tally. He has also won the DFB Pokal and two DFL Supercups with Dortmund and was named Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2015-16.
The heart of the matter
In spite of his relatively decent goal-scoring form, Aubameyang has incurred the ire of Dortmund's administration. The striker has had disciplinary issues in the past few weeks and has been issued a one-match suspension by his club. Aubameyang has stated that he was baffled by the ban and maintains that he has not done anything wrong.
It appears that the club is now willing to let him leave for £54 million in January, in a bid to reinforce their team and remove what is considered to be a disruptive influence. Aubameyang will have no shortage of suitors, with the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool having been linked with him in the past.
Aubameyang's position at Dortmund may have become untenable, and the striker could definitely leave the struggling German side if they put him up for sale.
A price of £54 million is almost a steal in the current market, and clubs will leap at the opportunity to sign the immensely talented striker. Liverpool may emerge as favourites in the race to sign him, with Chelsea being unable to offer him regular first-team football on account of one Alvaro Morata.