Chelsea have completed late moves to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria, whilst Marcos Alonso and Billy Gilmour departed the club.
Aubameyang has joined on a two-year contract in a £12.1m transfer from Barcelona, where he had scored 13 goals in 23 appearances in just seven months and marks his return to English Football just months after his contract at Arsenal was terminated.
During his time at Arsenal, Aubameyang helped the Gunners win 2019-20 FA Cup in which they defeated Chelsea in the Final, plus 2020 Community Shield against Liverpool.
This move also reunites Aubameyang with Chelsea manager – Thomas Tuchel under who he scored 79 goals in 95 appearances at Borussia Dortmund across 2015-16 & 16-17 seasons.
Speaking of his decision to return to English Football and reunite with Tuchel, Aubameyang commented: “I’m really happy. It’s an honour to be part of this team and I can’t wait to start. I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and really exciting.”
Chairman, Todd Boehly meanwhile is “thrilled” to sign Aubameyang as he added: “Pierre-Emerick is an elite striker with a proven track record in the Premier League and his arrival strengthens our squad, giving us new attacking options.”
Marcos Alonso meanwhile was sold to Barcelona as part of the deal to sign Aubameyang, which brought the Spaniard’s six-year tenure at Stamford Bridge to an end, during which he scored 29 goals in 212 appearances.
Across his time at Chelsea, Alonso helped the team to win Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup titles.
Chelsea issued the following statement on Alonso’s departure: “Everyone at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Marcos for his service to the Blues and wish him all the very best for the rest of his career.”
Aubameyang isn’t Chelsea’s only late signing as midfielder, Denis Zakaria joined on a season-long loan from Juventus, with the option to convert the deal into a permanent transfer at end of season.
Speaking about his move to Stamford Bridge, Zakaria said: “I want to say hi to all the Chelsea fans. I’m very happy and proud to be a Blue and I cannot wait to see you soon at Stamford Bridge.’
Boehly added: “Denis is a talented midfielder with lots of quality and skill. He will add depth and range to our squad this season, and we are looking forward to watching him play in Chelsea blue.”
Aubameyang and Zakaria could both make their debuts at Stamford Bridge against West Ham at 3pm BST on Saturday 3 September, after the game was brought forward 23 hours due to Chelsea’s Champions League participation on Tuesday 6 September.
Gilmour Joins Brighton
Midfielder, Billy Gilmour meanwhile was sold to Brighton & Hove Albion for an initial £7.5m transfer fee, with add-ons set to take the total transfer price up to £10m as the 21 year-old signed a four-year contract at the AMEX Stadium.
Gilmour departs Stamford Bridge having failed to score in 22 senior appearances and spent last season on loan at Norwich City, who suffered relegation at end of the campaign.
Brighton’s Head Coach, Graham Potter issued the following statement on Gilmour’s arrival: “Billy arrives with a fantastic pedigree, having played in the Premier League and Champions League as well as for Scotland at last year’s Euros. He will complement our existing midfield options.
“That experience at quite a young age shows the strength of character he has and we’re really excited by his potential.
“Now it’s about allowing him the time to get used to a new environment and settling in to our club. We can’t wait to work with him.”
Gilmour could make his debut for Brighton at home against Leicester City on Sunday 4 September at 2pm BST live on Sky Sports.