Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang emerges as leading contender to replace former Real Madrid star

Aubameyang is in talks with MLS champions Los Angeles FC as interest grows for the out-of-favour Chelsea forward.

The 33-year-old was recently left out of Chelsea's Champions League squad for the knockout stages in order to make room for record signing Enzo Fernandez.

Aubameyang has scored just three goals and one assist in 17 appearances for since joining from Barcelona last summer, after being brought to the club by former Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.

However, Aubameyang’s game time has been limited since the arrival of Graham Potter as head coach and the Gabon international is now expected to leave the club this summer.

“I don’t think it’s going to be difficult because Pierre is a professional and of course, I understand he will be disappointed. It was a tough decision, a tough call. He was the one that missed out, he’s done nothing wrong at all,” Potter told reporters after Aubameyang was omitted from Chelsea’s Champions League squad.

“Pierre is just unfortunate and he will be fighting for his place for the rest of the season. He trained today [Friday], he trained very well and he’s got the weekend off so we can report on Monday. It’s a free world.

“Whichever decision we made there was always going to be a conversation about it but it was my decision. It was a tough decision absolutely, sometimes you have to make these calls but it’s absolutely nothing bad against him.”

MLS champions Los Angeles FC are in talks with Aubameyang’s representatives, while St.Etienne, Rennes and Sporting Lisbon have also shown early interest in a possible deal.

LAFC, who are exploring an initial loan deal for Aubameyang, previously had former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale in their ranks before and have targeted big name players over the past few years, with Giorgio Chiellini currently plying his trade for the North American side.