Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he and the club’s hierarchy have growing hopes that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a new contract.
Continued reports in recent months have linked Gunners captain Aubameyang – who has entered the final year of his deal – with a move away.
Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are reportedly keen on the Gabon international, whose record of 66 goals in 106 games sums up his importance to Arsenal.
Arteta said after Saturday’s defeat of Manchester City that he hoped the victory would inspire Aubameyang to stay. Arsenal beat Pep Guardiola’s side days after defeating Liverpool in a fantastic week for the club.
In a more recent interview with Sky Sports News, however, Arteta now says that there are encouraging signs coming from the club’s internal discussions.
“I don’t know, to put a date right now is very difficult,” Arteta said when asked about a potential end date for talks.
“I like the way the conversations are going, I like what I’m hearing. I’m sure for both parties, the quicker we can do it, the better for everyone. I am confident he will extend his stay.”
Asked to explain his growing confidence about Aubameyang, Arteta added: “He’s generally happy. I think he is enjoying his football. He is settled in the country and his family are good.
“I think he can sense – and we’ve told him – how much we like him, how much we value him. I think the connection he has with the fans is unique, I believe he is in the perfect place for him.
“Everything I have from him and the people around him is the same. So I don’t have any arguments to say something different.”
ARTETA CONFIDENT OF ARSENAL BACKING
Last week, Arteta admitted concern that his superiors would leave him without sufficient funds with which to launch his Arsenal rebuild.
Arteta had urged the club to ease up on financial restrictions to help the club climb up the table.
In his latest interview, however, the Spanish boss said: “I think we will get all of the support that we need.
“Some of the limitations that we have and the uncertainties that we have are going to be a little bit clearer in the next week or two weeks and then we will be in a much stronger position to know how much we can do or cannot do.
“But I am very positive because everything I’m hearing is that we want the same thing and that’s the most important thing.”
Arsenal return to action on Tuesday, facing Aston Villa away from home. The Gunners can put another nail in Villa’s relegation coffin with a positive result.