Newcastle have received a setback in their chase for Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the striker expressing his desire to return to Italy, Metro reports.

Chelsea were also interested in signing the Gabon international, but it was the Magpies that stepped up the chase.

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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been watching Aubameyang for some time, even scouting him during his stint with French club Saint Etienne.

However without a concrete bid, the Toon Army have opened the door for AS Roma to make swoop for the 25-year-old.

According to his agent Oscar Damiani, Aubameyang is keen on a return to Italy where he spent three years with AC Milan – although he spent much of the time on loan with Lille, Monaco, and St Etienne.

And now Roma director of football Walter Sabatini has contacted Damiani in hopes of luring Aubameyang to the Stadio Olimpico.

Diamini stated: “Sabatini likes him, but it would be very difficult to lure him away from Borussia Dortmund because he has a long contract.

“However, he would like to return to Italy.”

Aubameyang only made 26 league appearances for Borussia Dortmund last season, scoring 13 goals.