Aubameyang in Arsenal limbo, UEFA consider relaxing FFP, Bielsa's unique check-ins with Leeds players


Welcome to our latest European football notebook, featuring contributions from ESPN writers across the continent. In this edition, Arsenal’s star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ponders whether to stay or go, top defender Kalidou Koulibaly hints at a PSG move, Barcelona move on from a recent signing and much more.

Jump to: Aubameyang in limbo | Koulibaly moving to Paris? | Bielsa plays Big Brother at Leeds | UEFA to relax FFP? | EFL teams not cutting wages yet | Arsenal and rivals chasing Gueye | Spanish clubs reduce salaries | Semedo surplus at Barca | La Liga’s music festival | Clubs scramble for installment payments | PSG wishes players stayed close?

Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be on the move this offseason. Getty

Aubameyang could be available this summer

Like all his Arsenal teammates, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is staying home with his family and staying safe while football is suspended. With no team training, he’ll naturally have a lot of time to think about his future.

The striker is out of contract in June 2021 and, because of the shutdown, he’s yet to start discussions with the club regarding a possible new deal. Sources have also told ESPN that there has been no contact from Barcelona or Manchester United about a move or from Arsenal about a contract extension. There should be more clarity in the weeks to come. — Julien Laurens

Koulibaly’s new apartment catches PSG’s attention



Julien Laurens explains why Kalidou Koulibaly is a good fit for whichever club he decides to sign for.

Where will in-demand defender Kalidou Koulibaly play next season? Despite being under contract at Napoli until June 2023, he will likely leave the San Paolo whenever the summer transfer window happens and PSG are very interested in his services. Sources tell ESPN that the French champions are preparing an offer and they’ve been really encouraged by the fact that the Senegalese international, born in France 28 years ago, has just bought a flat in the 15th arrondissement of the French capital for $4 million!

Koulibaly’s new place is over 2,100 square feet (200 square meters) in size and spread over two floors with a great view of the Eiffel Tower. In Paris, it’s seen as a very positive sign that Koulibaly has invested heavily in the city. — Julien Laurens

Bielsa’s “big brother” routine with Leeds squad

Manager Marcelo Bielsa is leaving no stone unturned in his efforts to ensure that his Leeds squad stays fit during the coronavirus shutdown by measuring players’ weight on a daily basis. But with the Championship leaders’ Thorp Arch training ground shut down like every other professional club in England, Bielsa has had to find a way to guarantee that his players are giving accurate readings.

– Coronavirus cancellations and reactions across sport
– Hunter: Coronavirus might change football forever
– Ogden: Transfer window must be changed
– Stream ESPN FC TV on ESPN+ Monday – Friday for the latest news

The former Argentina, Chile, Lazio and Athletic Bilbao coach has ordered his players to contact the Leeds medical staff via FaceTime and film themselves on the scales, making sure that the physios can see the numbers. Bielsa has also devised daily email fitness plans for his players, who are desperate to return to action as quickly as possible in order to finish the job of winning promotion and end Leeds’ 16-year exile from the Premier League. — Mark Ogden

UEFA mulling temporary relaxation of FFP



Gab Marcotti explains FIFA’s options for completing July 1st transfers if league seasons remain unfinished.

As clubs around Europe face enormous revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic, UEFA are prepared to relax Financial Fair Play rules in response, though it remains to be seen what mechanism they will use, according to several individuals familiar with the matter.

FFP regulations already have provisions with regard to “force majeure” (Annex XI, art. e) and “major and unforeseen changes in the economic environment” (Annex XI, art. f). The first relates to “extraordinary events or circumstances beyond the control of the club,” whereas the second refers to the “quantifiable financial impact” of “extraordinary national economic events which are temporary and considered to be beyond the general fluctuation of the economic environment.” The issue is that while both quite clearly relate to the current situation, they are designed to be applied on a case-by-case basis. Given that the ongoing crisis relates to the game’s entire ecosystem, some clubs would like to see a more comprehensive rewriting of the regulations.

Another issue is that in recent years, many clubs have relied on player trading to balance the books for FFP purposes. Or, put differently, cleverly using amortization and other accounting tools to improve the profit and loss statements. Given the uncertainty over the upcoming transfer window — which, right now, extends to whether there will even be a transfer window — it’s unclear how to even begin to assess this. — Gab Marcotti

France’s next big thing linked to Premier League



Gab Marcotti explains FIFA’s options for completing July 1st transfers if league seasons remain unfinished.

You might not have heard of him yet but he might be coming to a club in England very soon.

Pape Gueye has been the big revelation of Ligue 2 so far. The Le Havre midfielder is only 21 years old, but has been bossing France’s second division and now all the top Premier League clubs are after him.

Arsenal are the keenest on the France U19 international, who is out of contract in June 2021 and would only cost around €8 million. But the Gunners will face tough competition as Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City are also monitoring the left-footed prospect as are AC Milan and Sevilla. — Julien Laurens

EFL regulations prevent wage cuts

English Football League clubs below the top tier are watching with interest as some teams consider asking their players to defer wages until the end of the coronavirus crisis. A senior figure at one Championship club has told ESPN…

Read more at this link (News Source).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.