Mikel Arteta Insists Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Is ‘Willing to Stay’ at Arsenal

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Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is willing to sign a new Arsenal contract | IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has claimed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is open to signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gabon international’s current deal expires at the end of next season, but there have been huge doubts over whether he will extend. Aubameyang has proven himself as one of the world’s top strikers, but the Gunners currently find themselves well behind in the race for Champions League qualification.

Two goals in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Norwich City took his tally for the season to 22 goals in all competitions, which is understood to have caught the eye of several European giants like Barcelona and Inter.

Speaking in his post-match press conference (via the club’s official website), Arteta revealed that he is positive an agreement will be reached as Aubameyang can see the club are heading in the right direction once again.

“A player that is able to score as many goals as he’s done in that short space of time tells you everything about the importance that he has for us,” the boss began. “We need players that can make the difference at any moment in the game every three days, in different competitions, and that’s a big test for him.

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Arteta has made no secret of his desire to keep Aubameyang | Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

“He’s done that at different clubs, he’s willing to stay with us, he’s really happy where he is and can see what we’re trying to do. Hopefully he can evolve as well in some parts of his game that in my opinion he can improve. We are pushing him every day towards that.

“I don’t know [whether Aubameyang will sign a new contract before the end of the season], I leave that to the football club and the people that look after those types of contract. Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him and the project that I want to create, and how much he’s part of that. After that, it’s not in my hands.”

Aubameyang himself revealed to BT Sport that he plans to meet with the club for fresh contract talks, admitting that Arteta’s arrival at the club has helped steady the ship.

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Aubameyang will soon hold fresh contract talks with Arsenal | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

“I’m really happy that Bukayo [Saka] ‘signed the thing’,” he said. “Now we will see [if he will do the same]. We will talk with the club and we’re going to see what will happen. First of all I am focused on the games, so we will see.

“Since Mikel arrived, we’re doing well, we’re working very well and we have good signs that we are improving.”

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