How LAFC can sign Chelsea star Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang despite January transfer window closing


LAFC are supposedly set to offer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an escape route from his Chelsea nightmare after he was omitted from the Blues' UEFA Champions League squad last week. Reports suggest that the MLS could be a possible destination for Aubameyang, who has struggled for form and game time alike at Stamford Bridge following his move from Barcelona in August.

Whilst Aubameyang has been forced to contend with a change of manager when Thomas Tuchel was replaced by Graham Potter at Stamford Bridge, as such a prolific goalscorer, he will, undoubtedly, take immense disappointment in this season's events. He has scored just three goals in 17 appearances across all competitions.

The 33-year-old had, previously, scored an extremely-impressive 92 goals in 163 outings for Arsenal during a four-year spell in north London, where he would become club captain before enduring a high-profile falling out with senior figures . His short stint in Spain was productive, too, as he netted 13 in 24.

However, to the concern of LAFC fans, perhaps, the British January transfer window closed last week. This does not mean that an exit for Aubameyang is impossible, though. That is because Aubameyang can legally join any MLS side. The American Primary Transfer Window opened on Tuesday, January 31 and will close on Monday, April 24.

Traditionally, Aubameyang would not be able to play for a third club this season, with FIFA stating that players can only play for two teams in one season, he has featured for both Barcelona and Chelsea. But MLS provides a loophole for Aubameyang as its 2023 season is what is considered 'an overlapping season' due its start in February.

'Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs,' FIFA says. 'As an exception to this rule, a player moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/ autumn as opposed to winter/spring) may be eligible to play in official matches for a third club during the relevant season.'

One factor that will have to be taken into consideration is that MLS clubs must submit an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) to complete the signing of Aubameyang as an under-contract player in another country.

Then there are his significantly-sized wages to contend with. It is believed Aubameyang is on a whopping £160,000 per-week contract at Chelsea, providing a possible stumbling block for the deal. Nevertheless, MLS and USMT journalist Tom Boger has outlined one way to navigate such a hurdle. He wrote on Twitter:

"[I] assume Chelsea would have to cover most of his salary."

With former Gunner Carlos Vela and fellow Gabonese star Denis Bouanga currently fulfilling two of LAFC's designated player spots, Aubameyang would become the club's designated player without any major problems.

The designated player rules allows MLS clubs to sign players, like Aubameyang, whose wages exceed the maximum salary budget charge.

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