Mikel Arteta has confirmed that he remains hopeful of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang putting pen-to-paper on a new Arsenal contract.
Auba’s expiring deal
The main talking point surrounding Arsenal’s squad of late has of course centered on star striker Aubameyang.
Since his big-money arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January of 2018, Gabonese international Aubameyang has gone on to establish himself as the Gunners’ most important player.
This is evidenced by the 30-year-old’s impressive strike rate of just under 2 goals every 3 games in the club’s colours.
As such, it has come as a major source of concern for fans of the north Londoners that, with just a year remaining on his current contract, little progress has been made towards tying Aubameyang down to a new deal.
Speaking over the weekend, meanwhile, the prolific attacker appeared to pin the blame on Arsenal for the apparent standstill in negotiations between the two parties:
‘We have had exchanges with the club, for a fair few months now. And they know very well why so far nothing has happened,’ Aubameyang explained during an interview with Telefoot.
‘They have the keys. It’s up to them to do their work and after that we will see how things go.’
“Arsenal a les clés pour ma prolongation. Ça va sûrement être le choix le plus important de ma carrière, mais pour l’instant rien n’est décidé”
— Téléfoot (@telefoot_TF1) June 14, 2020
‘Very happy at the club’
As outlined above, though, if the latest comments on the part of Mikel Arteta are anything to go by, then all hope of Arsenal locking down their captain for the long-term may not yet be lost.
Speaking earlier today ahead of his side’s trip to Manchester City on Wednesday night, the Gunners boss was drawn on the situation surrounding Aubameyang.
And Arteta went on to make clear that the onus remains on he and the club to convince ‘Auba’ that the best decision for his career moving forward would be to stay put:
‘I think it’s our responsibility to make him feel that this is the right next step in his career.’
‘In order to do that he needs to feel valued. He needs to feel that he belongs to us and that we want him – and then he really needs to believe we can take this club forward in the way we want to do. He’s going to be a key player to do that.’
‘I think that [Champions League qualification] would help to persuade anybody, but we are very lucky to have the club that we have that a lot of players want to come and join.’
WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates as he scores his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Significantly, Arteta added that he remains ‘pretty positive’ that Arsenal’s contract talks with Aubameyang will produce a positive outcome, before suggesting that the African continues to be ‘very happy’ with life at the Emirates:
‘We have many discussions with Pierre, his family and agent. I am pretty positive that we can find the right agreement for all parties.’
‘At the moment I am extremely happy about the way he is performing and behaving. I think I have a really good relationship with him where we can discuss face to face a lot of things. So far, as far as I’m aware, I think he’s very happy at the club.’
Reason to be optimistic, Arsenal fans? 👀
— Goal News (@GoalNews) June 15, 2020