'No one is bigger than the club' – Aubameyang has Arsenal in a corner, says Parlour


Ray Parlour is desperate to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sign a new Arsenal contract – but has told the striker that ‘no-one is bigger than the club’ as doubts over his future grow.

Aubameyang only has one year left on his current deal at the Emirates and admitted in a recent interview that he had yet to decide whether he would extend his stay in north London.

“I have not received a proposal recently, but we have had discussions with the club for quite a few months,” the Gabon international told TF1’s Telefoot programme.

“The board know very well why nothing has happened so far. They have the key. It’s up to them to do their job and then we’ll see how it goes. 

“It’s a turning point in my career and, to be frank with everyone, this will be a very difficult decision to make. But beware, I haven’t made my choice yet. It will be perhaps the most important decision of my career.”

Barcelona have been linked with a possible move for Aubameyang this summer, while Inter are another club who are believed to be keeping a close eye on his situation.

Mikel Arteta has publicly stated his desire to keep the forward ‘at all costs’ but, with the coronavirus pandemic crippling clubs’ finances, Arsenal might be forced to accept an offer, should a bid for their captain arrive once the transfer window opens.

Gunners legend Parlour – who won three league titles with the club and made a record 333 Premier League appearances – hopes an agreement can be found but admits that Arsenal have now been put into a corner by the striker, who has full control over the situation.

“Mikel will sit down with him and say, ‘we desperately want to keep you at the club’,” Parlour told Goal.

“But as a player, if he doesn’t want to stay and says he wants Champions League football, you’ve then got to make a big decision.

“No-one is bigger than the club, I know he is a very important player and I would love to see him stay, but the players have got the power now.

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“They can put clubs in corners where they have to make big decisions about whether to keep them and let their contract run out like they did with Aaron Ramsey, or they say ‘how much can we get for him’ and then try and replace him.”

The issue facing Arsenal, however, is that Aubameyang’s value will have plummeted given he has just one year left on his contract and that clubs across the world have all been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

So should any offers arrive for their captain, it’s likely they will not be for the type of figure that the Gunners would have been hoping for and would not leave them with a lot to reinvest in a replacement.

It leaves Arsenal in a very difficult position.

“From Arsenal’s point of view, financially it would be better if you keep him because you know he’s a proven goalscorer,” said Parlour. “You know he’s settled, that he plays well most weeks and that you have to replace him if you sell.

“I don’t know how much he would be worth now in the market. You see Werner go for £55m, but people forget he’s got his wages on top of that. If he’s on £200,000 a week, that’s another £10m a year so you have to weigh the whole situation up.

“And you never know whether who you buy in to replace him is going to hit the ground running and if they can handle the Premier League. So in an ideal world, he signs a new three or four-year contract.

“But Aubameyang might be thinking I’ve got three or four years left at the top level, I want to play Champions League football now and Arsenal can’t guarantee him that at the moment.

“And players usually get their own way in this era I’m afraid. If a player wants to go, he usually leaves. But I’m hoping they come to an agreement and he stays.”

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