Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to have further heart tests as he awaits Arsenal return verdict

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will undergo further tests on his heart and could return to the United Kingdom early after being sidelined at the Africa Cup of Nations, according to reports.

The Arsenal forward, 32, missed Gabon’s second group-stage fixture against Ghana on Friday night with “cardiac lesions” as he recovers from coronavirus.

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Aubameyang tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the tournament, which is being hosted in Cameroon after he was seen partying in Dubai with national team colleague Mario Lemina.

The former Borussia Dortmund star is yet to play a minute for Gabon at AFCON and it remains to be seen if he can feature in their final group game against Morocco on Tuesday, or later in the competition should the Central African country progress.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to have further heart tests as he awaits Arsenal return verdict
© AFP/Getty Images Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is yet to make an appearance at this year’s AFCON

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The Athletic reports Aubameyang is set for further tests to discover the extent of the issue and a return to the UK is not out of the question.

However, Arsenal are believed to be calm about the situation and their primary concern is that the player receives the best possible care.

The Gunners’ team doctor has been in touch with Aubameyang and, as it stands on Monday morning, there is no plan in place for him to jet back to the Premier League club.

The issue initially came to light after Gabon medics conducted pre-match health checks on Aubameyang and Lemina ahead of the clash with Ghana.

In the absence of their captain, Gabon scored a late equaliser to draw 1-1 and boost their hopes of automatic qualification to the knockout stage following last Monday’s 1-0 win over minnows Comoros.

The uncertainty clouding Aubameyang’s participation at AFCON comes at a time of speculation surrounding his future at the Emirates.

He joined Arsenal in a £56million transfer from Dortmund in January 2018 and shared the Premier League Golden Boot during his first full season with the club.

Aubameyang was appointed Gunners skipper by former manager Unai Emery in late 2019 and he led his side to the FA Cup the following year.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to have further heart tests as he awaits Arsenal return verdict
© PA Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may be nearing the end of his time with Arsenal

The veteran frontman has scored an impressive 92 goals in 163 games since his move to north London but was stripped of the captaincy by Mikel Arteta in December.

Aubameyang is believed to have returned late from a trip to France and his latest disciplinary breach, adding to a late arrival for last season’s derby against Tottenham, cost him the armband.

He has not played for Arsenal since he was dropped from the squad and has been linked with Barcelona throughout the January transfer window.

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