Guangzhou Evergrande Slam 'Groundless' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2018

Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks on during a German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund in Mainz, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst/Associated Press

Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande have dismissed speculation linking them with a move for Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as "completely groundless." 

Reports had emerged from Beijing Youth Daily (h/t Agence France-Presse, via MailOnline) that Aubameyang was a target for the club in a transfer worth a potential £62 million. 

However, in an official statement from the CSL side, they made it clear they do not have any interest in landing the Gabon forward, per Dom Farrell of Goal:

"The story of Guangzhou Evergrande FC buying an active Bundesliga player with a transfer fee significantly higher than the maximum limit set by CFA's regulatory rules is completely groundless.

"The Bundesliga club involved have clearly denied the rumours during interviews with German media. Guangzhou Evergrande will continue to strictly obey the CFA's regulations on player transfers."

Additionally, Guanzhou said they are willing to take legal action against any outlets that link them with a move for the player.

As noted below, speaking with Kicker, Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball insisted Aubameyang has been inundated with offers to leave BVB: 

The striker is one of the most prolific goalscorers in European football and has long been a talismanic figure in the final third for Dortmund.

At the top end of the pitch, he gives defenders many issues. Aubameyang is strong on the ball, can link the play, and most significantly of all, he is blisteringly quick. If the 28-year-old can get in behind teams, there's not a chance of him being caught.

The striker continues to make improvements in his movement and awareness. However, as relayed by OptaFranz, when he does find himself in good positions, he can be a little profligate:

His time at Dortmund has never been plain sailing despite the goals. As noted by MailOnline, there have been countless rumours in recent seasons about a possible exit, with Aubameyang having made clear he would love the chance to join Real Madrid.

Aubameyang has been prolific and problematic for Dortmund.
Aubameyang has been prolific and problematic for Dortmund.Martin Meissner/Associated Press

The sharpshooter's conduct has left a little to be desired at times, too, as Aubameyang has twice served suspensions for breaches of discipline at Dortmund. The most recent saw him omitted from the squad in November for the match with Stuttgart due to "disciplinary reasons," per Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC.

Speaking about the player earlier in the year, sporting director Michael Zorc revealed Aubameyang has issues with his timekeeping, per football writer Lars Pollmann:

Given how good he remains—Aubameyang has 13 goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances this season—a move to China would have been regarded as a waste of talent by some, regardless of the lucrative money that would be on offer to the forward. If Dortmund do opt to sell, there would surely be a number of major clubs keen on landing him.

At the moment, Aubameyang's focus can't deviate too much from BVB either. After a strong start to the season, they have dropped off the pace in the Bundesliga; they're third on 28 points, although in a tight top-half of the table, 10th-place Hertha Berlin are only four points behind.