BARCELONA have confirmed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's shirt number for the 2022-2023 seasonin a blow to Chelsea's hunt for the striker.
The Blues have reportedly identified Aubameyang as a top target as manager Thomas Tuchel is desperate to bolster his frontline.
But Barca issued a clip on Instagram showing the striker posing in the team's full kit and revealing he will wear the No17 shirt this season.
According to Four Four Two, the West Londoners will decide this week whether to pursue a deal for the ex-Arsenal star or focus on alternative targets.
Tuchel is short of options in attack and is keen on a reunion with Aubameyang, with whom he worked at Borussia Dortmund from 2015 until 2017.
Chelsea landed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City but saw record signing Romelu Lukaku rejoining Inter Milan on loan after a hapless season.
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Timo Werner has also returned to RB Leipzig following a £23.5million deal with the Bundesliga outfit after two difficult years at Stamford Bridge.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has been made available for a loan move, while Hakim Ziyech has also been previously linked with a transfer to the Serie A.
Aubameyang may have limited opportunities at the Nou Camp this season after Barcelona signed Robert Lewandowski.
But the Gabon international has long been pursuing a career in LaLiga and appears keen to stick around.
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The Blaugrana are set to decide whether to let the 33-year-old leave or whether to sanction a move for Memphis Depay instead.
Barcelona manager Xavi seems keen to hold on to the ex-Arsenal star after his impressive performances last season but much will depend on the club's financial status.
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