It was not until the very end of the transfer deadline day that Barcelona could secure the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It took its time but the out-of-favor Arsenal striker has eventually found his way to the Camp Nou.
The Gabonese has enjoyed a wonderful spell in North London but it didn't end well, as he was stripped of the team's captaincy and was separated from the squad over disciplinary breaches. Now, he's off to a fresh start with the La Liga giants.
The move makes sense for all parties involved, as Barca strengthen themselves without spending on a fee while the Gunners get rid of a lucrative contract that has not been useful lately. However, terminating Auba's contract came at a cost for the Premier League side.
Here's what Arsenal paid Aubameyang to end his contract and let him join Barca for nothing
There was simply no point in Arsenal continuing to afford Aubameyang's expensive salary while he continued being snubbed by Mikel Arteta. Before the winter transfer market concluded, they reached an agreement with the player to terminate his contract - but the club had to pay a price for it.
According to The Times, Arsenal paid nearly £7 million ($9.5m) to rescind Aubameyang's £350,000-a-week ($475,000) deal. The 32-year-old striker was under contract under 2023 after signing a lucrative extension in the summer of 2020, shortly after he had a fantastic season that helped the club win the FA Cup.
Agreeing to those terms of his departure may have been what took so long to confirm his transfer to Barcelona. Aubameyang signed for the Cules as a free agent, with his new contract reportedly running until 2025 with a €100 million ($113m) release clause.