Arsenal face a summer of uncertainty as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future takes centre stage.
Speculation has been building about the striker’s long-term plans with the Gabon international having just one year remaining on his contract in North London.
Reports had suggested that a new deal had been offered to the striker, but according to ESPN, that is not thought to be the case.
This summer represents the last realistic chance for the Gunners to attract a substantial fee for the frontman, however it’s no surprise that supporters are still hoping that he will agree to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang’s future has been a hot topic of conversation, with Liverpool favourite Jamie Carragher suggesting that Mikel Arteta may be better served by keeping him at the club next term, even if it means losing him for nothing next summer.
Speaking on The Football Show by Sky Sports, Carragher said: “It’s interesting, the Arsenal situation because we were in this situation a lot towards the end of my career at Liverpool.
“We were just missing out on the top four, basically, and, yes, it’s okay having rules in place at Arsenal saying ‘we don’t let players go on a Bosman ruling’ but if you’re Mikel Arteta, I’d be looking at it as ‘we have got more chance of getting in the Champions League next year, even if he goes for free next summer?’.
“That’s the decision they have to make, really. At this stage, there’s no doubt Aubameyang is too good for Arsenal. We had that at Liverpool with Luis Suarez.
“You’re desperate to keep hold of them because as a club you want to build around this player, if they go, you feel like you’re starting again.
“That’s the issue with trying to get back into the top four and starting again as Arsenal have been trying to do. I hear all ‘if he doesn’t want to be here, let him go’ but it’s not easy when you’re at the club and you have a player of such star quality who is nailed on this season and next season to be there or thereabouts for the Golden Boot.
“It’s not easy to find goalscorers so I would keep Aubameyang and see what you could do, can you bring players around him and convince him to stay?”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
While losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for nothing would be a big blow, perhaps Jamie Carragher has a point.
The Gabon international is the sort of player who could easily be the difference between finishing in the top four or not, and that’s something that shouldn’t be underestimated.
If Mikel Arteta can convince Aubameyang to stay for one more season then it could be massive in the Gunners getting back into the Champions League.
Should the striker leave this summer then it’s highly unlikely that Arsenal will find a replacement who is as good, or even better than Aubameyang – something which will in turn have a detrimental effect on the team.
Arsenal should be pleading with the striker to stay, otherwise it could be years before they’re challenging for major honours again.