Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang apparently flew straight to Milan after being shocked and disappointed by Chelsea’s decision to dump him from the Champions League squad just five months after joining the club.
The future of Chelsea Aubameyang is now in serious doubt and sources close to the player are sure that the club wants to get rid of him.
Head coach Graham Potter also left Aubameyang out of his squad for Chelsea’s goalless Premier League draw against Fulham, after a picture emerged on social media of the 33-year-old in Milan with his family.
Aubameyang’s belief that Chelsea no longer want him has been boosted by the fact that he was not even mentioned in the Blues’ Champions League announcement on their official website, despite Potter insisting the door remains open to the former Arsenal captain.
“It was my decision and I understand he’s disappointed because it’s a tough call,” Potter said. “He didn’t do anything wrong, but somebody had to lose and there’s nothing wrong with him and he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Asked if Aubameyang was allowed to fly to Milan, Potter added: “He trained very well this morning (Friday) and he has a ready weekend. It’s a free world.”
On whether Aubameyang could still play for him this season, Potter said: “Yes, absolutely. He has to train like he did today and be ready to play because football changes quickly, that’s the nature of the game.”
Chelsea have confirmed that new loan signings Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Joao Felix have been added to their Champions League squad for the final stages of the competition.
After spending nearly £300million on eight players in January, Chelsea were only able to register three of their new signings in the Champions League, which meant defender Benoit Badiashile, who cost £35m, and winger Noni Madueke, who was signed for £29m. to leave out.
Mudryk and Fernandez made their home debuts against Fulham on Friday night but Mudryk replaced Madueke at half-time.
“Mudryk had a bad cold all week,” Potter said. “We knew he could only play 60 minutes at most, but we thought 45 was fine. Enzo handled himself wonderfully.”
The signing of Fernandez, Mudryk and Felix left the club needing to deregister one of their players after the transfer deadline of Hakim Ziyech to Paris Saint-Germain broke down.
However, instead of leaving Ziyech off his 25-man Champions League roster, Potter decided to dump Aubameyang and explained his decision personally to the striker on Thursday.
Chelsea signed Aubameyang from Barcelona for around £12m and former head coach Thomas Tuchel, who is a big fan of the former Arsenal man, was still in charge.
But Tuchel was sacked a week later and Chelsea’s owners even contacted Aubameyang to assure him that the decision would not affect his future or their commitment to him.
After starting well for Potter, scoring in back-to-back games against Crystal Palace and AC Milan in the home and away Champions League, Aubameyang has not scored since October and lost his starting place.
Christian Pulisic is injured and is not expected to be fit for either of Chelsea’s last-16 games against Borussia Dortmund, with the club traveling to Germany on February 15 and entertaining Dortmund on March 7. N’Golo Kante has been out injured since August and is not expected to return until March.