Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has distanced himself from speculation suggesting Arsenal were prepared to sell him – and has aimed a rebuke at the English media in the process.
The 30-year-old striker will have just 12 months remaining on his contract come June and with no apparent breakthrough in Aubameyang’s desire to sign a new deal, a report says Arsenal officials were ready to cash in on the forward with two European heavyweights lurking.
The skipper’s armband was handed to Aubameyang earlier in the season, but it has been reported the player is understood to be looking to win trophies and wants to play in the Champions League again and is therefore still intent on leaving Emirates Stadium.
However, after the player completed the full 90 minutes against Manchester United on New Year’s Day – a match in which Arsenal won 2-0 – Aubameyang was quick to distance himself from exit claims.
The forward spoke to French outlet RMC Sport after the match, and said: “The English press likes to talk a lot. For now, I’m here. I’m 100 per cent here.”
While some may feel the comments aren’t exactly conclusive, there is no doubting Aubameyang‘s commitment to the cause for Arsenal.
“I think he will stay,” Arteta said. “He was very good. I really like him. The way we want to play, if we get him on board he can be a tremendous player for the football club.
“It is everything – his commitment, I like the way he is, the way he lives, his professional(ism), and the way he trains.
“How focused he is every time I am talking, he is listening and willing to learn and he is a great football player.
“The way we want to play, there are not as many with his quality on the ball and the way he eliminates passes, and the range of his pass. I am delighted to have him.”
Asked if Xhaka had told him he would not move away during this January transfer window, Arteta replied: “He did, yes.”