Another Monday in lockdown. But at least this is the last one before we’ve got football to moan about again. And we’ve got something else to moan about this morning because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been speaking to French journos about his future and, let’s be honest, it doesn’t exactly bode well for a bright outcome that sees his long-term future at the club I don’t think.
Auba told the journo that nothing has been agreed and that Arsenal and his ‘people’ have been talking but that nothing was on the table. Of course you’re not going to say very much else with the situation as it is, but I’d be stunned if Arsenal aren’t offering him a new deal. I’ve already spoken about it before and I think we should have a permanent contract sitting waiting for him to sign for at least one year. If he signs a deal which means we have two years left on his contract he can give us a full season with Arteta as boss next year and see how we go. It also suits him that he can negotiate a good sale next season and would work for Arsenal because we could at least get some kind of fee.
To me it makes sense but as Aubameyang has already said, it’s one of the most importantly moments of his career. That’s because it’s his last big deal. Whatever happens next he’s probably signing a three to four year deal and that means a three year deal takes him to 34, or 35 if it’s a four year deal. He’s 31 next Thursday and is banging in goals regularly. We know he’s a fantastic player who we’d all love to keep for the goals he brings, but we have to be honest and admit that a three or four year deal for mega bucks might not be the way to go. Especially if we have some young players like Martinelli waiting in the wings to move centrally.
That’s why I’m hoping the club can do a medium-term deal because it feels like another year of having Aubameyang, then seeing if some of the young players can step up, feels like the right move for the club. Whether it’s possible though I don’t know. If I put myself in Auba’s shoes, does a one year deal really help me? At the moment if I’m thinking of a big move to somewhere like Real Madrid or Barcelona, then I’m thinking about doing it sooner rather than later, but if neither club are going to cough up the money now, will they have found a solution up front between now and next summer? Imagine if he wants to play for Real Madrid, they’re keen, but because they can’t get him now, they move for somebody else. They might say to his people “we’ll have you next year on a free” but if I’m a player of Aubameyang’s calibre, I’m a little worried that a club like Real Madrid isn’t going to move heaven and earth for me. I’d be asking whether they actually want me that bad and if they don’t then am I going to get the game time that, at 31/32, I’m going to want next season.
It’s a really tough one for him and although I’m hypothesizing on the Real Madrid situation, it’s only because I can’t see too many clubs going for him this summer that would be so attractive. Inter Milan have been rumoured, but do they have any money? Barcelona has been mentioned but I think the return to fitness of Suarez and with Dembele fit, plus the emergence of Fati, they have enough spaces in those forward positions before you even start to think about the rumours of the return of Neymar. I’ve seen some noises about PSG and that could be a potential if Neymar moves on, but they’ve got Mbappe so why would Auba want to play second fiddle there?
There’s been talk of the English clubs but with Chelski buying Werner and Liverpool looking pretty sewn up on some of their positions up top, you’re looking at United. But the tale of Alexis should give plenty of warning and I am not that convinced that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is that attractive a move. Of course if United get Champions League football there’s an arguement there, but I guess all i’m trying to do with these examples is show that there isn’t a myriad of places where Aubameyang can pitch up this summer I don’t think.
Which is also why I think he’s probably said those things to GFFN, because he needs to try to force Arsenal’s hand one way or the other and that needs to start happening soon. We need something to happen soon because from the outside it does feel as though the football exec team are getting in a bit of a mess with contract stuff right now. We have a host of players yet to even agree extensions to play beyond the end of this season, we have the Auba thing hanging over our heads, plus the Saka nonsense that STILL sees his contract unsigned. They need to move quickly and they need to do it now.
I hope things can get resolved soon. The resumption of football should not result in us taking our eyes off the future of the club in terms of these contract negotiations.
Catch you all tomorrow.