Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is asking for a three-year contract worth close to £250,000-a-week to remain at Arsenal.
The 31-year-old’s current deal expires in the summer of 2021, and given he is yet to pen an extension, he has been heavily linked with a move to the likes of Inter, Barcelona and Manchester United.
Manager Mikel Arteta recently insisted that Aubameyang is willing to extend his stay at the club, and the striker himself even added that he planned to sit down with the club in the near future, but ESPN state that Aubameyang has asked for a mammoth contract worth close to £250,000-a-week.
For a striker who has proven himself as one of Europe’s finest, that’s hardly an outlandish figure, but the problem is whether Arsenal will actually be able to pay that – and whether they’re willing to offer a deal which would make Aubameyang a million pounds a month until his 34th birthday, given their recent history of being stuck with unclearable contracts.
The Gunners are famously short on money these days, with loan deals and free transfers their preferred means of improving the squad, so committing to a contract that big might be a tough ask right now.
Offloading Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Roma on a permanent deal would help free up some money, but with Mesut Özil and his rumoured £350,000-a-week wages still on the books at the Emirates, there’s not much wiggle room – especially if Arsenal want to add Atlético Madrid‘s Thomas Partey as well.
David Luiz, Pablo Marí and Cédric Soares have all signed on for the next few years as well, but the general sense is that Arsenal will try and find every available penny to appease Aubameyang and keep him at the Emirates for a little while longer.
With 22 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions, the 31-year-old’s outstanding form has ensured Arsenal remain in the race for a Champions League-worthy finish in the Premier League.
The Gunners currently find themselves down in eighth, eight points adrift of Chelsea in fourth, but fifth place (six points away) could be enough for a Champions League spot, Man City appeal pending – which in turn could convince Aubameyang to stay.