As football returns this Wednesday, the focus will be what happens on the pitch after such a long break.

However, as important as that is, Arsenal have a considerable number of off-field issues to sort out, not least what is going to happen with captain and leading goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The 30 year old is heading into the final 12 months of his contract, and while he says there have been discussions with the club, no concrete offer has been made to him.

Speaking to Telefoot in France, Aubameyang’s comments don’t sound particularly promising when it comes to the prospect of persuading him to stay.

“Recently I have not received an offer to extend,” he said, “but of course we have had exchanges with the club, for a fair few months now.

“They know very well why so far nothing has happened. They have the keys. It’s up to them to do their work and after that we will see how things go.

“As you said it is a turning point in my career, and I will be very frank with everyone, it will certainly be a very difficult decision to make.

“Because I still have not decided and we will see. It will maybe be the most important decision of my career.”

What happens in the transfer market this summer remains unclear, with most clubs likely to be financially impacted to varying degrees by the Covid-19 shutdown.

Arsenal’s best hope of keeping him is to convince him he can win things with new boss Mikel Arteta at the helm.

“Every player that is a competitor wants to win titles,” he said.

“Everyone will then ask the question if you would like to win at Arsenal or win elsewhere., but I want to win titles.

“That is clear and everybody knows it.”

Quite how Arsenal would replace his goals is a big question, but his contractual situation demands some sort of solution.

Having lost Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck for free last summer, it would be criminal to see another top player go without generating a fee. Particularly as these are situations Head of Football Raul Sanllehi insisted needing improvement when he took the job.

Let’s hope Arteta, said to be taking a personal hand in the negotiations, can persuade Aubameyang he can achieve what he wants in North London.

Read the full transcript on GFNF

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Jack

I think he’ll go, Lacazette will stay and we will promote from within.

I hope I’m wrong.

It would be really sad to see him go, he’s been fantastic on and off the pitch.

IamaGoober

I genuinely think he’ll be leaving on a free.

We won’t want to spend money on bringing in a striker who will be able to replace his goals. So the club will crunch the numbers, and decide that keeping Aubameyang at Arsenal for his last season will do more for us than selling him for £15-20M. Of course the key thing being — his goals getting us back into the Champions League.

That’s exactly how I anticipate things to go down.

Chamakhyungpark

Yeh and I think he might go to another PL team, sadly.

IamaGoober

I think its most likely he will end up going to Spain, Madrid feels like it could be the most realistic place he’ll end up, or maybe PSG if he really wants a big payday.
 
I hope I am not wrong — but I cant see him going to anywhere in the Premier League because the only top side that would be realistically better than us is City — and they wont want him.
 
Liverpool wont have him, nor will Chelsea if they’re buying Werner, and he’s not going to United as they’re more of a shambles than we are..

Chamakhyungpark

Hope I’m wrong. Just we always seem to sell out best to laters to PL rivals. And I don’t know why city or Liverpool wouldn’t want him? He’s 30, one of the end tint be world, only a year left on his contract and his club are awful and in financial trouble. Really hope he stays though

Jeth

😢

Tankard Gooner

You know what, let’s just be done with it and sell him once the window opens. I’ve had it with the star names always trying to hold the club ransom. He’s a really good goalscorer, but he’s 30 and god knows how many good seasons he has ahead of him. He’s really not making the right kind of noises here.
Would love to see Martineli get more regular chances if Auba does leave.

AbsolutelyMarvellous

Sell him to who, though? Given the economic impact of the pandemic, it’s doubtful Arsenal would even get any offers that come near to what we’d want for him. Replacing him could be an issue too as clubs may look to hold onto what they have until the market recovers.

Personally, I’d rather keep him for the final year and hope he can help Arteta drag us into the CL – the additional revenue would cover him going on a Bosman. It’s obviously a risk, but one worth taking in my opinion.

Anonymarse

Sell him if we can get good money but keep him if we can’t.

Georgeycharles

Agree, things have changed somewhat since CV19. The previously accepted wisdom of not letting our best players see out the last year of their contract, whilst it sounding like a good policy, may no longer be a realistic option.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Why wouldn’t Arsenal get offers with Chelsea able to buy two top players? Sorry, Zyech isn’t a top player.

AbsolutelyMarvellous

Just because Chelsea have done it doesn’t mean every club will be as willing or able. I’m not saying it’s impossible to get a good offer for Auba, just less likely than usual.

Futsboller

The noises Aubameyang is making are the same ones the fans have been making for a decade: time to start winning things. Dedicate the club’s dealings and efforts to that end, rather than simply turning a profit (everyone talking about selling Auba is playing the profit game), and you’ll have a much more committed workforce and a captain with clear goal in mind. When everyone has winning on their minds and in their hearts, and only winning, good things happen. Auba simply wants to lead that dance.
 

mjc1892

Though I don’t think anyone disagrees, I’m fairly sure noone wants to see Auba sold for profits’ sake. It’s purely for reinvesting in the team to make us more competitive, given we’re at a point when his value is going to go from presumably £30-40m to £0 in the space of 12 months. Though we’re a million miles from where they were, look at Liverpool. Sold Coutinho. Bought VvD and Alisson. If we could sell Auba and get a good centre mid and a good centre back, sadly I’d be all for it.

Tankard Gooner

Not saying this from the ‘let’s make a profit’ angle at all. For one thing, I really doubt he’s going to fetch the price we paid for him in the current market.
Rather if he doesn’t fancy our chances in the next full season under arteta, let’s get whatever cash we can get to buy a proper cb (not another Luiz) and a CM. These are glaring holes in the current squad that need filling.

Futsboller

But guys, why would you trade the man with the golden boot for the kind of money that really won’t buy you much at all? I’d much rather see him score 20-30 PL goals for us and help us back into the CL spots. I love watching him play for Arsenal; I could care less what money we could get for him.

Riku

Will he most players on bosman stop playing so much in last season for fear of injury

Crash Fistfight

How much less could you care?

Futsboller

Perhaps a little more. 😉
 

Martinelli fanboy

The man’s honest and ambitious. What more do you want in a star player? He’s committed to a team that can deliver. If he’s convinced the club is he will sign. I’m only convinced by Arteta but nothing else.

kaius

This is our whole entire problem, from the time we moved to the Emirates until now.
 
Our fans are very comfortable talking about profit/loss and balance sheets.
 
But we’re intimidated when our best player demands a team capable of winning the big prizes.
 
 

DCGooner

Auba holding the club ransom? They have not made an offer to extend his contract? For the sake of argument, let’s say he did have an offer on the table, is he really wrong to not want the best deal possible? If I don’t offer my employees enough money, I will lose them, and it would never occur to me to accuse them of holding my business ransom. If we don’t rate him, Martinelli and Nketiah look very promising

Duno

Well well well. Doesn’t look particularly promising. But if there’s anything positive to glean from that, it’s that it’s still very much in our hands. I hope.

Nkem Emereuwa

The best way to convince him to stay is to bring in quality players who can help him win titles at Arsenal. As a minimum, a top quality CB and a strong DM must be added to the squad for the club to stand any chance of winning the league.

The club needs the goals from him and should as quickly as possible to get him to commit to a new contract.

karl

The club were already over extended with the Pepe deal before the virus struck. Now they will be even shorter on cash and cannot justify big money buys against player wage cuts.
 
Saliba will arrive and there are plenty of players breaking through.

SantaClausola

Sounds to me like “I’ve told them they need to improve the squad well enough that we can challenge, then I will potentially stay”. Hopefully that happens and he signs a new deal but you can’t blame him if he left at the end of the season either. If we are clever (that’s a big IF), we might be able to spring some deals by selling some players and not re-buying to cover those positions and having people like Martinelli, Saka, Eddie, Nelson and Smith-Rowe to step in instead. Or others like Kolasinac for a few and getting a free… Read more »

Anonymarse

Sounds fair enough yes

goongot

I cant believe we wasted a prime auba 😔. With all due respect to giroud, Auba in 2013-2017 team might have won us the league once.(leicester season)

Hass

That Leicester season too when Ozil was at his best for us would have seen Auba bag a ton. Seeing a line up including Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez and Aubameyang would have ripped teams to shreds

Sean

It’s pretty sad how often I play out the fantasy of Auba signing in the Summer of 2015 in my head

lordgunner

why people always blame giroud for the year Leicester title win, i remember plenty of other “star” players not performing
 
yes he lost form , mainly due he was the only decent striker and he wasnt giving any rest.
but at that moment other player should have raise their game and help him,

most of the team underperformed with maybe only Sanchez trying to carry the team, and as good he was , he is not Henry

KongoKim

I doubt anyone offers 30+million due the corona+contract situation. We simply can’t replace him with the money we get for him so I would keep him, as an investment to get into top4 next season, play cl and be attractive to good strikers to sign and lose him for free if he still wants to leave after next season. Even if he wants to leave and Arsenal running down his contract i think he still will be ambitious and good for us.

KongoKim

maybe in that time eddie proves to be a starter. With Laca and Martinelli we might not even have to buy anyone to replace auba.

yen

That’s just a fantasy. Laca is nowhere near Auba’s numbers, Martinelli + Nketiah are still ‘only’ very promising talents. Only Salah (51) scored more goals than Auba (49) since the latter’s PL debut – and had almost 500 minutes more to do that. Auba is one of the very best strikers to ever play for this football club and we have zero idea if and when we’ll see another one like him again.

Futsboller

Very well said.

Adnan

If he wants out with our situation at board level and the ness we always create with transfers, I wll be sad but not blame him for leaving. He did justice to his role as an Arsenal player, a captain and a role model both on/off the pitch. Good luck Auba. I really wish we can convince you but if you leave, all the very best for future.

KongoKim

sure its a fantasy but thats all i got atm.

Russ99

I could see Real or Barcelona paying that. The very top clubs have been raking in revenue and will be less affected by the pandemic drop. Sad that our ownership knocked us out of this range over the last 10 years.

Mark

Let him go, provided we sign zaha , no problem.

Martin

You mean the overrated, overpriced, inconsistent diving cheat who scores very few goals with very few assists. No thank you.

lordgunner

yep that Zaha so good that all the big club are queuing to sign him for 80M and get 7 goal a season wide player who perform every few game

Eddie Hoyte

Is PEA holding the club to ransom? I don’t believe so. So far he’s one player who has genuinely earned every penny he gets as salary. Does his job effortlessly, and dedicated to it, constantly producing results. I can’t say the same for most of the players on the team, who are paid a lot yet they produce average performances every week. PEA is right to wait and analyse what happensz we’ve been here before! It’s the same scenario with RVP. This is a guy that constantly produces top performances weekly, and earns his money. This is a guy who… Read more »

K9ine

We have always asked the how will arsenal replace the goals from Ian Wright when I became a fan to date. We still manage to have players who are top of the scorer charts almost every season. What we have lacked is compactness and a solid defence on which to build on. His leaving will not be a death knell, at least we do have a coach now that seems to know what he is doing. What we need is to spread the goals around till we find that point man. Become a bit more fluid and unpredictable. I love… Read more »

Scwibble

Not true, since we sold RVP we went through a couple of years of giroud, had a decent defence then. Sanchez had amazing numbers but was a wide player, so your argument is generalised.

K9ine

So Sanchez or Giroud or Walcott or Podolski etc were all midfielders??? I think u have comprehension issues. We need to spread the goals around. What if he signs and tears his ACL. Will u give up on arsenal

Scwibble

Do you know what a centre forward is? Was Sanchez a centre forward?

Also, are you saying Walcott/giroud had the numbers of rvp and auba?

You’re contradicting yourself there saying we always have player top of scoring charts. If you take auba out of this team, we wont make up for those goals by spreading goals around lol it doesn’t work like that. Don’t know if you play too much fifa or FM, can’t replace aubas numbers like that.

K9ine

Has Auba been playing for us as a centre forward?? How many matches has he played there and scored. Whatever happened to the phrase Wide Forwards in modern football. How many teams play with a traditional centre forward today. U really don’t have a clue what spread the goals mean. All u need to do is look at our goal concentration and tell me where the goals will come from if Auba gets seriously injured today. Our problem is that our midfield is not scoring enough, our defenders are not scoring enough, and our wide players are neither scoring nor… Read more »

Scwibble

I disagree if you’re trying to say that we can survive without a world-class striker, midfielders should chip in with goals every now and then but primarily you need a top striker who has at least 10 more goals than the wide players, around the 30 goal a season mark.

Naked Cygan

Sad to see him leave, but I dont blame him if he does. He did his part for us on the pitch. Shame some of the other clowns in the team could not do their part and underachieved by miles. Let’s just hope we dont fk up like the Van Persie situation and sell him to a domestic club like Man utd or Chelsea. With Cavanie leaving he might go to PSG, almost guaranteed title there.

Bob Holdy

Prioritize and execute. Stop mucking about

karl

Sorry though I would be to see him go, his goals are wasted until we can challenge again. The cost of another Ozil size contract will hold the club back.

Martin

How are his goals wasted? Without them we would be in a far worse position.

karl

The amount of goals he score should be taking us somewhere more than mid table. The money we would have to pay to keep him is needed to rebuild in other areas.

Pakgooner

I truly wish we could keep him, he’s underrated but so reliable, has kept his mouth shut and tried to lead this team he’s carried thru the season by setting an example. Yet I’m for selling Auba as we need the cash for rebuilding very much, no more dillydallying and lollygagging Don’t forget that we’d be even lower in the table without him and Leno.. Hebwill do well wherever he goes though. Think he’s as good as gone within the next two windows. I would love to see a front three of Martinelli Laca Pepe because Auba was wasted on… Read more »

Stu

Where would he realistically go?
A big investment for a 30 year old isn’t that appealing to any top club right now.

Man Manny

Arsenal is not yet at the level to win the big trophies Auba wants if I am being honest. But we’ll certainly be in a few seasons if our current crop of emerging players – Saka, Nelson, Martinelli, Nketiah, ESR, Guendouzi, Saliba and others – stay at the club.
I think Arteta needs to be spared the burden of trophies while he works at producing the next “invincible.”
That said, if Auba stays, delivers CL football next season, and goes on a free, it might be a win win for all.

Hass

I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to leave at this point in his career. Obviously I want him to stay but should he leave he won’t be deemed a snake or anything like that. But on the other hand how stupid do the higher ups have to be to let this happen once again. Either tie them up to a new deal or if they stall sell before you risk losing them on a free. The amount of money we have lost on Sanchez, Ramsey and now likely Auba is a joke.

Public Elneny

Yeah, and Ozil
 
Just imagine how much better a position we would now be in if we had sold Alexis and Ozil in Summer 2017 and Ramsey in 2018. FFS!

Robert innocent

Formula is simple,play for the badge and the name shall be remembered

Crash Fistfight

By the same token, we should be looking to sell Lacazette now, as well. Otherwise the same situation will present itself next season.

Richie

Offer him to Juventus in exchange for Ramsey.

Russ99

We all like how Arteta has started, and it bodes well for the future.
 
But with the institutional rot enabled by the Kroenkes, and looking as a realist, we have a way to go before even thinking about titles, and we could finish out of Europe this year.
 
I’d love to see Auba stay, he’s been my favorite Arsenal player since we signed him, but it may be best to cash in, and add some younger talent that Arteta can build into a winner.
 

Public Elneny

If we don’t sell this summer, he’ll either leave for nothing or we’ll be forced to shell out Ozil-esque wages again. Both of which will severely dent any chance of constructing a CL/title challenging squad within the next 5 years. Don’t fuck it up Raul   Sell Auba. Sell Laca too as he doesn’t have the physical capabilities to lead the line effectively for more than a couple games at a time, has a contract w only 2 years left and is on high wages. Use the funds generated to sign the most suitable CF with resale value we can… Read more »

jay

He says the club has the keys and that he has not heard from them recently but he goes to say he that he has not decided yet. I’m confused now. Is it the club or him?

Omkar05

Hope we can get him a new contract he deserves. Can’t afford to lose our top goalscorer unless we get another in the next 12 months.
 

Ozenal

If he leaves we will find someone suitable to come in and the goals will need to be spread around. Our weakness has always been right wing and perhaps we may buy someone to fill that gap. A player exchange would work well, but who will we really get? How many players would be open to a swap deal? Most likely someone also in last year of contract who also is likely to have a drop in wages due to Covid. Spain isn’t awash with cash, no matter how big their clubs are. Left forward we have Martinelli and Saka… Read more »

Ozenal

The club have been running at bare bones for years since the Kroenkes. And with transfer failings, in particular selling players for decent money we have been well and truly stuck in mid table in money terms now.

Vonnie

The Kronkes aren’t the ones giving our players away for nothing, or buying overpriced players from their mates. Their big fault has been trusting snake oil salesmen like Wenger, Gazidis and Sanhelli, they,re the ones who mis used the money, the money’s been there.

Ozenal

When will the club learn that we need to buy and sell wisely? Raul really put us financially in a tight spot and with decreased performance from the two key signing choices and allowing two players to leave without any compensation. We could have recouped between 40-60m in Welbeck and Ramsey. Both players in prime years of their career. We sold Monreal for peanuts. And we have struggled in areas where these players would have made the difference. Kos left because he was expected to play without backup and likely through injuries, shortening his career. Just in Kos’s position we… Read more »

Riku

Swap him for cebellos with real madrid. Out the premier League, not to a rivsl.vlub Auba gets a big club to his grandads dream move , dream club. We get v. Promising young player , with sell on value . Cebelois had had a season already getting up to speed with adapting to premier League style of play and pace .

Dan Nichols

my thought on auba would be a) offer him as good a contract as we can afford and arteta desperately try to persuade him. b) if that fails keep him for what could be a last prime year and then let him go for free. He is one of the best strikers in the world but nearing the time when strikers start to decline. we cant get a potential 35 goal striker with our money. it gives eddie and martinelli another season to bed in. i wouldnt sell this summer unless he seriously threatens to do what he did to… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Another highly talented forward who wants to leave because he is sick to the back teeth of his goals carrying a weak midfield and a non existent defence. Will this club ever learn? Nah.

MAD1982

the club are financially hamstrung. No one can afford to take Ozil who ain’t leaving for another season. With games behind closed doors the club has no revenue besides TV money and sponsorship deals. There is no surprise the club have not spoken to Auba much as he will want to be made the clubs highest earner which won’t be possible.
 
I think Saka’s contract should be made more of a priority than Auba. The club should just move Auba on and be smart in getting a player in return from Madrid/Barca/PSG or whoever the club he goes to is.