Aubameyang
Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has found himself in no man’s land, as neither of his current employers, Chelsea, nor his former ones, Barcelona want him. This comes after reports from Stamford Bridge have emerged that the Blues’ boss Graham Potter no more counts on the Gabonese and wants him out. Potter may have even hinted at it after he subbed-on Aubameyang in the fourth minute of their Premier League defeat against Manchester City, only to withdraw him in the 68th.

Clear indications have been further sent to Aubameyang that his services are no more needed at the club as they brought in Atletico striker Joao Felix on loan until the end of the season. As a result, it was being speculated that the former Arsenal striker is now pushing to re-join Barcelona, whom he left last summer for Chelsea despite joining the Catalans only in the winter market. However, the La Liga rules have blocked Aubameyang from returning to Camp Nou.

Aubameyang
Chelsea boss Graham Potter made his stance clear on Aubameyang after he sub-subbed the striker against Man City in the league. Credits: Twitter

After FIFA, La Liga rules block Aubameyang from moving out of Chelsea

Chelsea made a surprise move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last summer, as they paid a significant €12m for the 33-year-old’s acquisition, who had only signed for Barcelona as a free agent six months ago, in January. However, the move somehow made sense, since Chelsea had lost two of their strikers, Romelu Lukaku to Inter on loan and Timo Werner to RB Leipzig on a permanent deal.

And Thomas Tuchel was in charge at that time, who had coached Aubameyang previously and shared a close bond with the striker. But it turned out to be a chaos as the Blues sacked Tuchel just one game after Aubameyang made his debut under him in a Champions League loss against Dinamo Zagreb. In came Potter, who hasn’t trusted the veteran striker handing him mere cameos off-the-bench. Add to it, his poor form has also limited him to just 3 goals in 15 games for the Blues.

As a result, Chelsea want to move him out, in order to accommodate new signing Felix, both financially as well as positionally on the pitch. According to reports coming out of Spain, Aubameyang has approached his former side Barcelona, where he enjoyed a short-and-sweet spell scoring 13 goals in 23 games. However, according to RFEF [Royal Spanish Football Federation] regulations for La Liga a player cannot be registered three times in a single season according to Article 130 which reads:

Aubameyang
FIFA has barred Aubameyang from joining any otherside than Barcelona, whereas the La Liga blocks his return to the Catalan club. Credits: Twitter

A player may be registered in only one team of a club, without the possibility of being withdrawn and released by the same club in the course of the same season, except in cases of force majeure or regulatory provision. Likewise, during the course of the season, he/she may not be registered and play in more than three different teams.”

Aubameyang was a registered Barca player for the 22/23, as he also featured for them in their La Liga opener, for eight minutes against Rayo Vallecano. He then signed for Chelsea on a two-year deal, which meant that became his second registration for the season. And now, a return to Camp Nou would be his third registration in a single season, which is prohibited by the RFEF.  La Liga’s Article 141.5 on the processing of licence for footballers within a single season states:

“Footballers whose licence is cancelled may not, in the course of the same season, obtain a licence in the same team of the club to which they were already associated.”

Furthermore, Atletico too had asked for Aubameyang, but then FIFA rules barred him from playing for a ‘third’ club in a single season. The Colchoneros were looking to replace Felix with Aubameyang, but they will now have to explore an option somewhere else, with Barca’s Memphis Depay now on their radar. Nonetheless, Aubameyang will now have to wait until the the end of the season to leave Chelsea.