Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has admitted he gave up his £350,000-a-week salary at Arsenal in order to join Barcelona.
The 32-year-old had been banished by Mikel Arteta and stripped of the captaincy after returning late from a personal trip abroad in December. A month later, he left Arsenal by mutual consent before joining Barcelona in a dramatic deadline day move at the end of the January transfer window.
It has been reported that Aubameyang now takes home £80,000 per week at his new club, which would mean he has taken a huge pay cut of £270,000 per week from his previous eye-watering Arsenal contract.
However, reports also claimed that Arsenal paid Aubameyang a lump sum of £7million to facilitate his move to Barcelona and get him off their books. It is a tactic they also used to push Mesut Ozil and Willian out the door months before the end of their contracts.
Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, the striker revealed that it was his ‘dream’ to join Barcelona, and knew the deal might happen a week before it went through.
He said: ‘my father did it all with my lawyer and they can say it best. ‘But the week before we already knew that he could end up signing for Barca. The week before there were already contacts and I knew it.
He added: ‘I really wanted to go to Barca. I gave up my salary because it is an opportunity that you have once in your life.
‘It was something incredible (his ovation at the Nou Camp). It is a dream to play on a field like this and receive this ovation. I was very pleased and happy. The truth is that it was incredible.’
Aubameyang Arsenal’s £350,000-per-week contract was due to expire next summer, with the remaining time worth around £27million.
He revealed that he spoke to a number of present and former Barcelona players including Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, Hector Bellerin and Ousmane Dembele about the Catalan club.