KEY POINTS

  • Mikel Arteta remains confident that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Emirates Stadium
  • FA Cup win will boost chances of Arsenal keeping Aubameyang
  • Barcelona and Real Madrid could still swoop in to pluck Aubameyang from Gunners

The future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains unknown although Arsenal F.C.'s match this weekend against Chelsea in the FA Cup could be a deciding factor. Mikel Arteta remains confident that the Gabon captain will stay on despite looming interest from FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

As far as Arteta is concerned, he remains confident that Aubameyang will eventually sign an extension with the Gunners. The Arsenal manager was asked on his thoughts of the Gabon national ahead of their clash with Chelsea F.C. Arteta does not think that the upcoming match will be Aubameyang's final one for the Gunners.

“No, I don’t have those thoughts,” Arteta said via Goal.com. “Don’t forget he still has a contract here with us. We want to keep him and do it more long-term. But at the moment he is with us and I think he should be really proud of where he is as well.”

Arteta knows how it feels to win the FA Cup. He won it twice during his active playing days and now he has a chance to win it as a coach. With that in mind, he believes the experience of winning the cup as a skipper could further convince Aubameyang of extending his stay at Emirates Stadium.

“If you are wearing the armband and you are able to lift that cup, it is such a moment and this is going to help for sure,” Arteta said.

However, there remains that fear of possibly losing the 31-year-old player with Barcelona and Real Madrid looking to snag him from Arsenal. Former Gunners player Charlie Nicholas feels that Aubameyang will move on once Real or Barca step up their pursuit on the Gabon captain, Sky Sports reported.

"It's vital they keep hold of him, but if Real Madrid or Barcelona were to show interest in him at his age, and he wants to go, he'll go. We had to let the best I've seen in an Arsenal shirt - Thierry Henry - go because he wanted to join Barca," Nicholas said.

Arsenal had the chance to lock up Aubameyang even before the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Talks were stalled and it was only recently when management finally came up with a contract reportedly tailored to the 31-year-old's demands.

Unfortunately, interest from Barcelona came up and now Aubameyang wants to know what the Catalan giants have to offer. Hence, the Gunners are now the ones left in waiting.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goals for Borussia Dortmund are thought to have attracted the interest of top Premier League clubs. Photo: Getty Images