Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not going anywhere, says Mikel Arteta
LONDON: Arsenal star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang He will stay with the club despite speculation that he wanted a move, said the Gunners manager Mikel Arteta Thursday.
The 30-year-old French-born Gabonese international is reportedly reluctant to commit for more than the remaining 18 months of his contract because Arsenal struggles to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal is nine points behind Chelsea, which is fourth, after Wednesday's games.
Aubameyang, who captained Arsenal in his impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Wednesday, told the French RMC station that he is 100 percent here without adding if he would extend his stay.
However, Arteta was adamant in his press conference on Thursday that former Borussia Dortmund striker was an integral part of his plans.
I don't even think about the possibility of Auba leaving, Arteta said.
I want it here.
Arteta, whose first games in charge has seen an improvement in Arsenal that the team dismantled under his compatriot and predecessor Unai Emery, reiterated how much he wanted the ardent Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka to stay despite his disagreement with fans.
Xhaka, who was stripped of the captaincy by Emery after his angry reaction when fans booed him, has been linked to a loan movement for the Bundesliga Hertha Berlin team.
However, Arteta revealed that he had also asked Arsenal players to try to change Xhaka's opinion.
He wanted his teammates to turn their backs on him and help him change his mind because we need him, Arteta said.
I think if we could do it, fans would respond positively.
I've seen him act every day, how he trains, how he lives his profession and the quality of the player. It could be a really important player for the club.
A player for whom you will definitely have to find a replacement in the January transfer window is defender Calum Chambers.
The 24-year-old will be out for six to nine months, the club said Thursday after undergoing surgery for a cruciate ligament injury he suffered in the league's loss to Chelsea last weekend.
That we will try to be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team, that's for sure and our obligation, said Arteta.
My obligation is to give my opinion on the things we can improve.
Obviously we have a serious injury with Calum a few days ago that will change our plans in the back.
I am more concerned about recovering players from injury and trying to improve the players I have here.
Arteta's next challenge is intriguing FA Cup Third round tie at home with Leeds United Championship leaders on Monday.
The former assistant coach of Manchester City, 37, is full of respect for Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, and hopes they are in the Premier league next season
How he (Bielsa) makes them fight, run, challenge and compete and never give up on any game under any circumstances, said Arteta.
The way they play, the way they behave. I followed his coach for a long time and I know how difficult it will be.