Hans-Joachim Watzke claimed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Borussia Dortmund for financial reasons and the Arsenal striker is not impressed.
Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has emphatically hit back at criticism levelled at him by Hans-Joachim Watzke – branding the Borussia Dortmund chief executive "a clown".
Aubameyang left Dortmund after four-and-a-half years at Signal Iduna Park to join the Gunners in January 2018 for a fee in the region of £56million (€63m).
The 30-year-old Gabon international has enhanced his reputation as one of the most prolific goalscorers in Europe – netting 39 times in the Premier League, including seven in seven appearances this term.
However, Arsenal have been restricted to a diet of Europa League football since Aubameyang joined, leading Watzke to suggest he left Champions League mainstays Dortmund for financial reasons.
"Aubameyang, who plays great at Arsenal, will probably be warm-hearted when he looks at his bank account, but on Wednesdays, will be saddened when he has to watch the Champions League on television," Watzke told Suddeutsche Zeitung.
"Some go to clubs because of this money, where they have not played Champions League for years."
Responding to the comments, Aubameyang stated Watzke knew the real reasons he left Dortmund and alluded to Ousmane Dembele's big-money departure to Barcelona in August 2017 as a demonstration of the CEO's own financial motivations.
"Better for you I never talk about why I really left Dortmund Mr Watzke you [are] such a clown," he wrote in a Twitter post.
"I remember that time you said we never gonna [sic] sell Ousmane then you saw more than 100M you were the first to take that money.
"Don't talk about money please!!! Leave me alone pls [sic]."
Arsenal and Aubameyang are back in Europa League action at home to Standard Liege on Thursday.
Dortmund secured a battling 2-0 win at Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Wednesday, leaving them top of Group F above Barcelona on goal difference.