The Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saga rolls on — but the latest episode of the long-running soap opera has a plot twist that will lift the spirits of Arsenal fans around the globe. For the Gunners skipper appears to be cool on the subject of whether or not he will join suitors Barcelona in the summer for a fee said to be in the region of £50million.
The Catalan giants are said to be keen on swooping for the Gabon striker and although head coach Mikel Arteat doesn’t want to lose the services of his main goal-getter, he is also acutely aware that the attacker’s contract is up next year. So, unless he pens a new deal soon he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium exit door because the north London club won’t want to risk losing the potent marksman on a free transfer to the Nou Camp powerhouse.
But the glimmer of hope for Gooners everywhere is the fact that Aubameyang seemed to shrug off the interest from Barca in an instagram live chat with ex-Nou Camp ace and current Besiktas star Kevin-Prince Boateng. Chatting to Auba, he stated:
“The fans are commenting on the stream, all saying you should sign a new deal with Arsenal.”
The Gunners forward replied:
“Ah, yeah. I know.”
Boateng quizzed him further and asked:
“How long do you have left?” The hitman told him he has 12 months left on his deal before replying “sure, sure”,
offering a contemplative smile when quizzed whether he thinks he will stay at the club.
One way or another, the interest from Barca won’t go away — until or unless Auba puts pen to paper. The Catalans are reported to have come close to snatching the Gunners ace, who is aged 30 but who turns 31 in June, in the January transfer window. At the time Barcelona director of football Eric Abidal said:
“There is a list with players like Olivier Giroud, Fernando Llorente or Aubameyang, but for one thing or another we decided not to sign. I know Aubameyang. I do not have much to do beyond sports. He has a profile that has depth.”
Aubameyang told the official Arsenal match day magazine in February that he was happy at the club and that he wished those speculating about his future would cease. But, the conjecture will no doubt continue if he doesn’t commit. It’s a quandary for Arteta. Around the same time, he said:
“We will have to hold talks at some stage before the end of the season for sure and we will see the intentions that we have and his intentions. For me it is very easy. I want to keep him under any circumstances.”