Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unlikely to be tempted by a move to Manchester United – but one pundit has explained the circumstances in which the Gabon striker could find himself signing for the Red Devils.
Reports this week claimed the Red Devils have stepped up their efforts to land Aubameyang, having failed to land a replacement for Romelu Lukaku when the Belgian left for Inter Milan last summer.
As per Sport, the 30-year-old, who has scored a whopping 257 goals in 493 career games, has already told Arsenal that he wants a transfer in the summer and that United are one just one of the sides who have made a major approach to sign him.
Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also made contact about a possible move, according to the Spanish outlet.
Aubameyang is close to entering the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium, but there have been no signs of him intending to extend his stay in north London, despite his regular claims that he has no desire to leave.
Arsenal can either chose to cash in on the player, who has scored 61 goals in 97 games for the club, or risk losing him for nothing from next January.
As for United’s interest, Reds Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also been linked with a move for Tottenham frontman Harry Kane – but Aubameyang would come a whole lot cheaper than the £200m Spurs will demand for their talisman.
Responding to reports that United had stepped up their interest in Aubameyang, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has cast doubt over wheher the player would be tempted by a move to Old Trafford, but believes United could force the issue by submitting a huge bid.
Nicholas said: “Would he want to be a part of a superstar reload at Manchester United? Is there a great appeal to that? If it was Liverpool or Man City I would get that. Man Utd are miles away from the top two, but they have the money and better idea of where they can see the progress coming from. Arsenal have been in a mess and are only five points behind them with a game in hand. There is not a lot in this.
“I do not see the glamour and appeal of joining Man Utd. Would he win the title with Man Utd in the next few years? I don’t think so. He might not even be in the Champions League if he was to join. What is the real appeal? Is it salary? I don’t think he is that type.
“[Robin] Van Persie jumped to a massive salary, but Man Utd are not the same calibre as what they were. Would he be the cutting edge to them? Man Utd have other issues to address like Arsenal.
“If Arsenal were to get £100m for him to sign for Man Utd, I would take that. It will make them better, that is why they would pay big. Arsenal were the challengers to United for the title, but now neither of them are. Man Utd offer £100m for Aubameyang, sell him.”
Gabon chief urges Aubameyang to move on
Aubameyang has also been told that he needs to “secure a contract with a more ambitious club” by the president of the Gabon Football Association.
“Right now, he’s at Arsenal, and he’s won nothing here, so it’s a collective failing,” Mounguengui told ESPN.
“I don’t want to say that Arsenal aren’t ambitious, but Arsenal don’t have ambitions as high as some other clubs as far as Europe is concerned.”
Just last month, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said he wanted to keep Aubameyang “under any circumstances”, although the club need to discuss a new deal before the end of the season.
The Gabon international is a reported target for clubs including Barcelona and Inter Milan, and Mounguengui is confident that the forward will thrive if he moves on.
“If Pierre could secure a contract with a more ambitious club, he’d definitely find his place there,” Mounguengui added.
“All Gabonese people see Aubameyang at this level, where he can now end his career at a major club and, above all, beyond individual trophies, to bring home a major competition.”