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 By Ian Holyman

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: PSG sporting director ended hopes of move

Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed his hopes of joining Paris Saint-Germain in the summer were brought to an end by the club's new sporting director.

PSG had pursued a deal for Aubameyang, 28, at the end of last season, but a source told ESPN FC in June that sporting director Antero Henrique had switched his attentions to Kylian Mbappe because he was not convinced the Dortmund man offered good value for money. 

Asked if PSG had wanted to sign him prior to Henrique's arrival in June, he told RMC: "Yes, exactly.

"At the start of June, I met [PSG president] Nasser Al-Khelaifi. It was just before Antero Henrique arrived. And once he arrived, he decided he didn't want to take me."

Instead, PSG brought in Neymar for a world record €222 million fee and added Mbappe on loan for what is set to become a €180m transfer at the end of the season.

Aubameyang remained at Dortmund, with AC Milan failing to agree a price after PSG dropped out of the race, but the Gabon international saw his friend Ousmane Dembele leave for Barcelona

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was widely tipped for a move in the summer but Dortmund eventually took him off the market.

Barca targeted Dembele to help plug the gap left by Neymar's departure for Paris, but Dortmund dug in their heels over the move, leading to Dembele refusing to train and his club suspending him.

The move eventually went through, however, making Dembele one of the top three most expensive players in the game, but Aubameyang was disappointed by the nature of his exit.

"Everyone was a little hurt by his departure," Aubameyang told RMC. "He had an agreement with the club that if Barcelona came, they wouldn't stop him from leaving.

"Having said that, everyone said what he did wasn't the best. I think that's true in the sense he just had to talk to Dortmund to find out whether or not they were going to let him leave.

"If they had told him no, I would have been able to understand what he did. I think he did it a little early, but he's a friend, so I'm not going to hammer him! I understand him completely because it's his dream. He's fulfilled it now and I'm very happy for him."

Dembele suffered a significant injury in just his third appearance for Barca but Aubameyang backed the France forward -- who spent just one year with BVB -- to deliver at the Camp Nou.

"It's not going to be easy for him, but he's someone who adapts very quickly," he said. "In any case, here in Dortmund, he adapted very quickly to the style of play, and he contributed. I think it'll work out for him, even if he'll need a little time with his injury, but he's a young man with a lot of talent and he's going to bring a lot to Barca."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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