Arteta-issues-statement-to-Arsenal-board-over-Aubameyang-contract
Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal must satisfy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s demands [COURTESY]

The Arsenal captain spoke out at the weekend about his contract situation in North London, with just 12 months left on his deal.

The two parties are yet to reach any kind of agreement over an extension, and the 30 year-old has suggested the ball is in Arsenal’s court.

The club’s leading goalscorer, who wants to return to the Champions League, insists it is “possibly the most important decision of my career”.

Arsenal would be loathe to lose their main marksman, who won the Premier League golden boot last term and is again in the running for the prize this season.

Aubameyang has also impressed Arteta with his work ethic and willingness to help the club’s younger players.

But it remains unclear as to what extent Arsenal will invest in their playing squad over the summer transfer window, meaning their end to the season is crucial; simply, they cannot go without European football.

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Speaking during a press conference hosted on Zoom on Monday evening, Arteta laid out his thoughts, making clear that he wants Aubameyang to stay at the club.

“I think it’s our responsibility to make him feel this is the right next step in his career,” said Arteta.

“In order to do that he needs to feel valued, that he belongs to us and we want him and then he needs to continue to believe that we can take this club forward in the way we want to and that he’s going to be a key player to do that.

“I think at the moment I’m extremely happy with how he has been performing and behaving.

“I think I’ve got a really good relationship with him where we can discuss face-to-face a lot of things.

“So far, as I’m aware, I think he’s very happy at the club.”

Aubameyang also stated that he had not “recently received a proposition” from the club with regards extending his contact past 2021.

Pressed on why that was the case, Arteta responded: “In a different context we’d have liked to do things much quicker.

“We were really tight with time and communication and obviously these unprecedented times bring a lot of uncertainty.

“These are getting clearer and clearer every day.

“We’ve had many discussions with Pierre, his family and agent, and I’m pretty positive that we can find the right agreement for all parties.”

Another player whose contract situation is a cause for concern is teenage star Bukayo Saka, also with just 12 months left on his deal.

He has flourished under Arteta, and when asked for the latest on his situation, the Spaniard responded: “We are trying, as a club, to finalise the deals that are more urgent and are a priority for us.

“The ones you are talking about [Saka and Aubameyang] – they are both really important, not just for now but for the future of the club as well.

“If the club has something to announce, they will do it in the right moment.

 

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