Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left ‘shocked’ by Chelsea’s decision to remove him from their Champions League squad and fears he is being forced out of the club.
On Friday afternoon, the Blues confirmed that record signing Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk and loan addition Joao Felix had all been added to their 25-man squad list for the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition.
However, in order to register the trio Chelsea had to remove a player, with Aubameyang somewhat surprisingly picked as the casualty ahead of Carney Chukwuemeka and third-choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.
According to The Telegraph, the 33-year-old is stunned and disappointed by Chelsea’s decision and the player’s camp are convinced he is being forced out.
Aubameyang was something of a panic buy late in the summer transfer window by former boss Thomas Tuchel, who enjoyed an excellent relationship with the ex-Borussia Dortmund forward.
But he has struggled for game time under Graham Potter in recent weeks – and was notably left on the bench at Craven Cottage when Chelsea needed a goal against Fulham – while he has only netted once in the Premier League all season.
The Telegraph’s report claims Aubameyang’s axe is not the result of any behavioural issues and he has been training diligently despite his struggles in front of goal.
But there is now a growing sense that the Gabon striker will need to leave the club if he wants to play any football over the next six months – though his options are very limited having already played for Barcelona this season.
Aubameyang’s camp feel Chelsea are putting the onus on him to seek an exit and that feeling will only have been compounded when he was left out of Friday night’s squad to face Fulham at Stamford Bridge.
The former Arsenal striker is fit, but young January signing David Datro Fofana was picked ahead of him on the bench, as was January addition Noni Madueke.
Aubameyang opted against attending the match after being left out of the squad and was pictured with his brother, Willy, and other family members in Milan.
Chelsea take on Aubameyang’s old club Dortmund in the last 16 – a reunion he will now miss out on – and, despite his struggles in the Premier League, the forward had actually played a crucial role in the side’s Champions League campaign having netted twice and laid on two assists in six outings.
MORE : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pictured in Milan after being dropped from Chelsea squad
MORE : Chelsea add three January recruits to Champions League squad and axe summer signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
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