The Gunners boss says no talks have been held with a prolific striker and he is waiting to see what the next few weeks deliver on the transfer front
Mikel Arteta is eager to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal, and has welcomed his recent comments amid unwelcome transfer talk, but says no further talks have been held with the striker.
The Gunners had been hoping to have a prolific frontman tied to a new contract by now, but no extension to a deal due to run until 2021 has been agreed as yet, with it suggested that Aubameyang has been stalling as he mulls over his options.
The 30-year-old has refuted those claims, stating his full commitment to the Arsenal cause, and Arteta hopes fresh terms will be a natural progression further down the line.
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“I was very pleased to read those comments,” the new Gunners boss said on seeing his captain state that he remains “100 per cent here”.
“He knows exactly what I think about him and obviously he’s a massive player for us. But at the moment we’re in the middle of the season and we haven’t discussed anything further on that at the club.”
Arteta added when asked if he would like to see discussions held before the end of the season: “My intention is to keep Auba obviously because I know that if we keep Auba with us, we’re going to be stronger and closer to winning football matches. That’s the only thing.”
Pressed further on whether he feels confident in that quest, the Spaniard said: “I don’t know, we haven’t discussed that.
“But I’m confident that he’s very happy here because that’s what he said in the media.”
It could be that additions are made over the coming weeks to complement Aubameyang’s presence in the Arsenal squad, with Arteta keeping an eye across the January market.
He said: “I’m not expecting big things. I’m expecting big things from the players I have at the moment, the players that are recovering from injuries. That’s the biggest expectations from my side, they’re there.
“If we can find something to help us go through the season in a more balanced way in certain areas, and is helpful, we’ll look at the options.
“We always have to be looking because obviously we have some bad injuries for players who are going to be out for a long time. We have to see if we can find options there.”
While incomings remain a possibility in north London, Arteta is eager to point out that he will not be parting with any player that forms part of his future plans.
Pressed on whether he may have to raise funds through sales, the former Gunners skipper said: “We’re not thinking to sell.
“There’s nothing concrete at the moment on the table, as I said, I’m focusing on the players we have now and this transfer window is a little bit tricky and things might come at the end. But I don’t know which way.”