Arsenal will not “get anywhere near the top four” without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, says Ray Parlour, with the former Gunners star hoping that “positive signs” will lead to a new contract being signed.
No fresh terms have been agreed as yet with the prolific Gabonese frontman, who has entered the final 12 months of his current deal.
Arsenal have, however, secured European qualification for 2020-21 – courtesy of Aubameyang’s match-winning brace in an FA Cup triumph – and have been locked in talks with their captain for some time.
Mikel Arteta has stated his confidence regarding an extended stay for a key man, while the player himself has dropped regular hints that he is going nowhere.
Parlour is among those now waiting on official confirmation of a compromise being reached, with Aubameyang likely to join Mesut Ozil in being handed a lucrative wage packet at Emirates Stadium.
“You can’t replace those goals that he scores. The signs are positive that he might stay, which would be great news,” ex-Gunners midfielder Parlour told talkSPORT.
“I see the relationship with the manager, which is so important. You can see when the final whistle went against Chelsea – Arteta straight over to Aubameyang. I know he scored the two goals but you can see that the relationship is pretty good.
“It’s going to come down to money, what are you going to have to pay him?
“The problem is we’ve got Ozil sitting on £350,000-a-week and Aubameyang’s going to say ‘I want the same’. His representatives can say ‘wait a minute, there’s a player out there who is not even playing so we want 350-a-week’. Whether that can do a deal at 250 or 275, I think that’s what they will be aiming for.
“If he does leave, there aren’t enough goals around the team to get anywhere near the top four.”
Arsenal are hoping to force their way back into contention for Champions League qualification as they prepare to take in a fourth successive season outside of the European elite.
Experienced Brazilian forward Willian has been acquired to help aid that quest, with the promise of more arrivals to come, and tying Aubameyang to a new deal would offer the Gunners a timely boost ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
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