Barcelona make 'list' of striker targets including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Olivier Giroud

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Barcelona's sporting director Eric Abidal has suggested the club could be interested in signing Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the summer.

Barca have a wealth of attacking talent, with Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez often leading the frontline and flanked by club captain Lionel Messi and France's World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.

However, that has not stopped Abidal revealing the club's desire to add to their forward options in the central role.

"I know him [Aubameyang]. He has a profile that has depth. He is important, and in his team he is decisive," Abidal told Spanish outlet Sport.

"It is good to bring this profile of player who can be in the market and can help you. We'll see what will happen."

Aubameyang, 30, has been Arsenal's standout player since his move from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, scoring 46 goals in 72 Premier League appearances.

Given the Gabon striker's consistency, there is a risk from Arsenal's perspective that he could be tempted to leave the club in search of Champions League football and trophies. The Gunners last played in the Champions League in the 2015/16 season and appear destined to miss out once again this year due to the 10-point gap on fourth-placed Chelsea.

"It is logical that in summer a 'nine' will come. It is a necessity. We know that Suarez will come back strong, but you have to bring a top player in the summer," Abidal said.

"There is a list with players like [Olivier] Giroud, [Fernando] Llorente or Aubameyang, but for one thing or another we decided not to sign [someone in January]."

Abidal has found himself in the eye of a storm this week after he was criticised by Messi following an interview the Frenchman gave that appeared to accuse Barca players of not working hard enough under former manager Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked in January.

Messi responded by saying Abidal's comments "give air to things which are not true" and called on everyone at the club to "take responsibility" instead of placing all the blame on the players.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, during training at Sant Joan d'Espi sports city on the eve of their Copa del Rey quarter-final against Athletic Bilbao. EPA

Barcelona manager Quique Setien leads his team's training session on Wednesday, on the eve of their Copa del Rey match against Athletic Bilbao. EPA

Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti attends his team's training session at Sant Joan d'Espi sports city. EPA

Barcelona's Lionel Messi hit back at sporting director Eric Abidal for his comments about Barca players' commitment. EPA

Barcelona manager Quique Setien leads a training session at Sant Joan d'Espi sports city. EPA

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann, centre, during a training session on Wednesday. EPA

Quique Setien attends a press conference in Barcelona on the eve of the Copa del Rey match against Athletic Bilbao. EPA

Lionel Messi during training in Barcelona on Wednesday. EPA

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic during training. EPA

Updated: February 6, 2020 11:09 AM

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