Aubameyang deal de­lay

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Matt Law and Sam Dean

Mikel Arteta, the Ar­se­nal man­ager, is still wait­ing for the club to make a con­tract of­fer to Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang. Arteta has said he is “op­ti­mistic” that the striker can be per­suaded to re­main but Ar­se­nal’s head of foot­ball, Raul San­llehi, has yet to present a pro­posal to Aubameyang, who has only 12 months of his cur­rent deal to run.

Mikel Arteta is still wait­ing for Ar­se­nal to make Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang a for­mal con­tract of­fer to se­cure his striker’s fu­ture.

Head coach Arteta last week de­clared he was “op­ti­mistic” that Aubameyang would ex­tend his deal past the end of next sea­son.

Aubameyang has de­vel­oped a close re­la­tion­ship with Arteta and has been im­pressed with the di­rec­tion in which the team have been head­ing un­der the Spa­niard.

Arteta has been work­ing hard to show Aubameyang that his am­bi­tions can be matched by Ar­se­nal and is un­der­stood to be­lieve he has made some head­way, which has caused his op­ti­mism.

But Aubameyang’s fu­ture is now in the hands of Ar­se­nal’s head of foot­ball, Raul San­llehi, who is yet to present a for­mal pro­posal to the 31-year-old.

Aubameyang cur­rently earns around £200,000 a week plus a num­ber of bonuses and add-ons, which is some way short of top earner Me­sut Ozil, who is on £350,000 a week.

Ar­se­nal will no doubt be re­luc­tant to give Aubameyang par­ity with Ozil, and yet the club re­alise they must do some­thing to recog­nise his stand­ing as the club’s most im­por­tant player.

Arteta is des­per­ate to build his young side around Aubameyang and does not want to risk los­ing him in the next trans­fer win­dow.

Should Ar­se­nal fail to agree a new con­tract with Aubameyang they may be forced to cash in on him with only 12 months of his cur­rent deal re­main­ing.

Arteta, mean­while, be­lieves the ab­sence of sup­port­ers from Premier League matches has al­lowed some of his play­ers to show more pa­tience and con­trol.

Asked if the empty sta­dium was help­ing his play­ers, Arteta said: “I think for some of them, yes. When they play in front of 80,000 peo­ple, it is much harder, mostly when they are on the ball or the ball is com­ing close to them.

“Oth­ers need that ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion, ex­tra pres­sure and ex­tra pas­sion to per­form bet­ter. Every player is dif­fer­ent.” Arteta is open to keep­ing on-loan mid­fielder Dani Ce­bal­los, but ad­mit­ted the Spa­niard’s fu­ture was out of his hands. Ce­bal­los has im­pressed in re­cent weeks along­side Granit Xhaka in mid­field but is due to re­turn to Real Madrid at the end of the sea­son.

Arteta said: “We are talk­ing to the club. Ob­vi­ously we do not own the player, he is not in our hands so the clubs will need to have a com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

Ar­se­nal are ex­pected to once again leave Ozil and Mat­teo Guen­douzi out of their squad to face Le­ices­ter City tonight. Guen­douzi is yet to fea­ture since grab­bing the throat of Brighton striker Neal Mau­pay and also mak­ing it clear he would not be against leav­ing the club this sum­mer. Ozil is be­ing as­sessed fol­low­ing his “back sore­ness,” Ar­se­nal said.

Val­ued per­former: Ar­se­nal’s Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang

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