Newcastle United have made many a raid on the French football system in recent times with the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Mathieu Debuchy all arriving on the Tyne.
Another player they are now being linked with as a replacement for Demba Ba is St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; and with good reason.
The Gabon international was a product of the AC Milan youth system before joining St Etienne in 2010 and since then the forward has been a sensation for the Ligue 1 outfit.
This season has been his best yet with 17 goals in 32 appearances as well as having the third most impressive shooting accuracy in the five big European leagues this season; behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
This weekend he was at it again as he set up Yohan Mollo and then scored the equaliser against Rennes to keep France’s most successful team in with a shout of Champions League football next season.
However the rumours continue that he will not be at the club next season with Newcastle United continuing to be the biggest link.
However his recent form in reigniting the embers of the former force that was St Etienne have seen his stock rise considerably. The likes of Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked while teams from Italy and Spain are also reportedly looking on with green eyes.
However the interest from France has also started to become apparent in particular from the countries two biggest financial players.
Indeed it could be that two former Chelsea managers get in the way of any Premier League arrival for Aubameyang as it emerged recently that both Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco may consider bidding for the player this summer.
Carlo Ancelotti is keen to add to his strike-force while Claudio Ranieri is all set to take Monaco back into the top flight and they are not planning on making up the numbers. This week they have been linked with the likes of Diego, Robinho, Stephane Ruffier, Maxime Gonalons, Joao Moutinho and Carlos Tevez with a ‘potential deal’ for Samir Nasri surely just around the corner.
Both would seem to have the financial clout available for such a transfer via their wealthy foreign ownership however the biggest rival to any teams hopes of signing Aubameyang may in fact be St Etienne themselves.
The Gabonese has already maintained his stance that should the side qualify for the Champions League he may stay with Les Verts for the time being. Currently two points behind Marseille in third place such a scenario should not be discounted.
Where do you think Aubameyang will be playing next season?
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