Manchester United have suffered a new blow in their hopes to secure the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Borussia Dortmund star reiterated his desire to join Real Madrid instead.
The 26 year old has been heavily linked with both Real Madrid and United in recent months after emerging as one of the most clinical strikers in Europe, having already scored 39 goals in 46 appearances this campaign.
German newspaper Express claimed in March that he had already agreed personal terms to move to the Santiago Bernabeu ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Gabon international admitted then that he dreamed about playing for Los Blancos but denied such a deal was taking place. Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke later claimed that the club want to keep the striker but admitted they would consider letting him leave for offers of around €100m (£78.8m, $116m).
"It was no coincidence we renewed his contract until 2020. It is our wish that he will score many goals for Borussia Dortmund in the future," Watzke said, as quoted by Goal.com "If someday there really arrives an offer of €100m or €120m for him, we will discuss it. But we want to keep him above 2020."
Daily Mail earlier this week claimed that United were ready to pay up to £70m to lure him to Old Trafford after having identified him "as the No 1 target for the summer". The report claimed that United are confident of convincing Dortmund to cash in the star as long as Real Madrid don't join the race.
And now Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed United's worst fears by reiterating his desire to play at Real Madrid one day. "I have always said that it would be a dream for me to play in Spain. And for my family," Aubameyang said during an interview with Cadena Cope in fluent Spanish as his mother is from Avila (a city in in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon but nor far from Madrid).
"When? I do not know. Where? I cannot say it because then I know how things are," he said while laughing. "But (Avila) is closer to Madrid than Barcelona. And I like a little more Real Madrid than Atletico Madrid."
Asked whether is true that he has even turned down an offer to join Manchester United because he is a Real Madrid fan, he replied: "I don't speak with the clubs. My father deals with that. I am focused on my team and my father does the rest. I am focused on finishing the season with my team, we don't know what can happen (in the future) but I have a contract until 2020. (Rumours about United and City) are now normal because England is currently a good mercato."
Aubameyang also revealed that Jurgen Klopp played a crucial role in his transformation from a winger to a top scorer after the current Liverpool boss agreed to swap his position during his spell at the Bundesliga.
"Jurgen Klopp has changed me. I talked to him last season to tell him that I wanted to play as a striker. He told me ok but that I had to start in the right because he had other options up front in Immobile and Adrian Ramos. But since then I've always played as a striker."