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Premier League • England

Serie A giants forced to think again as outrageous demands close another door for Arsenal rebel

Nicolas Pepe Arsenal

Reports in Italy claim Milan are keen to sign controversial Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but his excessive wage demands could scupper a deal.

The 32-year-old’s days at the Emirates seem numbered. The Gabon international is currently in the wilderness after blotting his copybook with a breach of club discipline. Mikel Arteta has taken a tough stance with the African and it appears likely he will be on his way this month.

Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr were keen to sign the former Borussia Dortmund hitman on loan. And it recently emerged that they were prepared to pay his full wages for the length of the deal.

However, Aubameyang has made it clear he does not want to relocate to the Middle East and favours a move to another European club.

That may come in the form of Milan. The Rossoneri gave him his first opportunity, handing him professional terms in 2008.

But he failed to kick a ball in anger for the Italian giants during three years on the books. He spent time on loan at Dijon, Lille and Monaco before joining Saint-Etienne in 2011.

The French-born forward bagged 41 goals from 97 appearances, earning a move to BVB in July 2013. Aubameyang continued to shine in the Bundesliga, scoring 141 times in all competitions for Dortmund.

Arsenal came calling in January 2018 but, despite notching 92 goals from 163 outings, it has not been a smooth ride at the club. He was omitted from the side in March last year for disciplinary reasons and is now under another sanction.

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The prolific star might never again play for Arsenal but there is a stumbling block to his exit.

Aubameyang seeks huge wage packet

Aubameyang currently earns in the region of £350,000-a-week with the Gunners. He is unlikely to get that much elsewhere on a new deal as he will turn 33 next June.

However, the man with 71 Gabon caps is refusing to move on the cheap and wants double the salary of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Italy. The 40-year-old earns £120,000 per week at the San Siro and Aubameyang wants to dwarf that amount, according to Football Italia.

Il Diavolo are unwilling to play ball on those numbers and he will need to lower his demands considerably. The alternative is to stay in north London and watch his team-mates perform over the remainder of the campaign.

Arteta has shown no signs of offering him an olive branch and an exit is the best option for all concerned. Milan need striking reinforcements as Olivier Giroud and Ibrahimovic have struggled with injuries in 2021-2022.

Robin Olsen greeting Zlatan Ibrahimovic

They are still in the title race, sitting third in the standings just four points behind table-topping Inter.

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