Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Reportedly a Target for Chinese Super League Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2018

DORTMUND, GERMANY - DECEMBER 16: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund scores the team`s first goal during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Signal Iduna Park on December 16, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

The Chinese Super League is reportedly the most likely destination for Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should he opt to leave the club.

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua and Beijing Youth Daily (h/t Agence France-Presse, via MailOnline), there are at least two clubs from the division keen to bring the Gabon international in.

A source quoted in the report from Xinhua suggested CSL side Beijing Guoan have been "close to signing" Aubameyang. 

Meanwhile, Guangzhou Evergrande are cited by Beijing Youth Daily as an interested club. It's suggested they would be willing to offer £62 million for Aubameyang, as well as a weekly wage of around £300,000.

If a deal were to come off, it would be an Asian record, with Shanghai SIPG's £53 million acquisition of Oscar the current benchmark.

Per the article, the Dortmund man has also been linked with a string of major European clubs, with Real Madrid said to be his preferred destination at this point.

The links to such prestigious clubs have stemmed from the excellent performances being turned in by Aubameyang at the Westfalenstadion.

As journalist Jan Hagen relayed ahead of the Bundesliga winter break, the 28-year-old is one of the most prolific players around:

Formerly a frustrating wide player, Aubameyang found his home as a centre-forward under former manager Jurgen Klopp.

At the point of the attack, the blistering pace he possesses is such an asset for Dortmund, as the striker has defenders consistently on edge. His movement, decision-making and finishing have all improved significantly in recent campaigns, too.

There aren't many teams the Gabonese wouldn't improve, so a transfer to the Chinese Super League would surprise some.

According to Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball, the striker has had a number of offers come his way, per Kicker:

There may be merits to Dortmund cashing in, though, even if Aubameyang's goals would be difficult to replace.

The conduct of the forward has come into question recently, as he was left out of the squad for the November meeting with Stuttgart in the Bundesliga due to "disciplinary reasons," per Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC. A year earlier, he was suspended for a UEFA Champions League clash with Sporting CP.

Aubameyang has been in exceptional form this term.
Aubameyang has been in exceptional form this term.JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

As noted by journalist Lars Pollmann, the behaviour of Aubameyang is the one major stain on his stint with Dortmund:

Given he's in the peak years of his career, prolific in an elite league and arguably still improving his game, even at the age of 28, Aubameyang would be a big loss to European football if he did opt to make a move to China.

Players have been tempted by the CSL due to the remarkable wages on offer, and for any player, that's something that must be taken into consideration.

However, if this move did come off, Aubameyang would be the most high-profile footballer to make the switch to one of the world's most intriguing divisions.