Arsenal outcast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Gabon’s opening game of the African Cup of Nations, according to reports.
Aubameyang hasn’t played for Arsenal since early December after a disciplinary breach saw that continues to cloud his club future saw him dropped from the squad.
But, as captain, the 32-year-old was expected to play a major role for Gabon in his fifth AFCON tournament in a tough group alongside Morocco, Ghana and first-time qualifiers Comoros.
However, it has been widely reported that since landing in Cameroon, Aubameyang has returned a positive test for Covid-19. He had been in Dubai before travelling to the tournament and videos have also now emerged on social media of him partying with colleague Mario Lemina.
Gabon are due to play their first group game against Comoros on Monday 10 January, with isolation also likely to rule Aubameyang out of the much tougher clash with Ghana four days later.
He would be expected to be out of isolation and available by the time Gabon face Morocco in the third and final group game on 18 January, which could prove decisive.
As far as his club future is concerned, Aubameyang has been linked with a January switch to an ambitious Newcastle desperately trying to avoid relegation. It is has also been reported in recent days that Arsenal have made a number of top European sides aware that he is available.
“To be successful you have to be passionate about something and want to represent a club of this size, with its history. That is the minimum standard you have to bring,” Arteta said when discussing the ongoing issue shortly before Christmas.
“I am not going to ask anybody to put the ball in the top corner every time they hit it, but I will ask them to do the right things every single day for this club.”