LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 27 – Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said on Thursday he is confident Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a new contract as talks with the Gabon striker drag on.
Aubameyang was reportedly close to agreeing a lucrative new deal two weeks ago.
But the 31-year-old, who has just one year left on his contract, is yet to put pen to paper on the fresh terms.
Gunners captain Aubameyang underlined his value to Arsenal with both goals in the 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea and has been linked with several clubs amid speculation he wants to play for a side in the Champions League.
Arteta conceded nothing is yet set in stone but he expects the deal to get done.
“Well, I keep being positive,” he told reporters when asked if he had any news on Aubameyang’s contract.
“We have some really good talks with him and his agent and I am pretty confident we will find an agreement soon. That’s my feeling.”
Arteta also offered a brief update on his bid to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
The 22-year-old reportedly underwent a medical in London earlier in the week and Arteta hopes the transfer can be sealed soon.
“Regarding Gabriel we can’t announce anything yet, the deal is not finalised,” he added.
“You all know that he is a player that we have followed for a long time and hopefully we can get it done.
“Sometimes that in the last final stages it is not as easy as it looks, but again we are pretty positive that we can do it.
“We are trying to finalise the deal, that’s what I can tell you at the moment.”
– ‘Clean slate’ –
Arsenal face Premier League champions Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley on Saturday and the glamour friendly could offer hope to the players exiled by Arteta last term.
Arteta has told Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi they will start the campaign with a clean slate.
Guendouzi did not play in the final 11 games of the previous campaign after an altercation with Brighton striker Neal Maupay.
The midfielder ended the season training away from the senior squad, while the club’s highest-paid player Ozil did not play a single minute after the coronavirus hiatus.
Germany World Cup winner Ozil has stressed in a recent interview that he intends to remain at Arsenal despite his lack of game-time.
“I have been really clear that everybody starts from zero,” Arteta said.
“All the time in football, what you did two weeks ago or two years ago doesn’t matter. It is what you are able to contribute to the team now so everybody is going to have the same opportunities.
“They have to show with their performance and attitude that they are better than their team-mates or they are somehow contributing to what we want to achieve this season.”
Asked if he had spoken specifically to Guendouzi having publicly questioned his attitude, Arteta replied: “Yes. I told him exactly that, that he is going to be part of the team and at the moment he is like any other player in our squad.
“He deserves, first of all, to be treated exactly the same and I will do that to the best of my capability.”