Report: Arsenal working on Aubameyang extension

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According to a report by Matt Law of The Telegraph, Arsenal is “confident” of securing a new contract for in-form frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that would tie him to the club long-term and monetarily incentivize the club’s craving for a Champions League return.

Aubameyang’s contract expires in the summer of 2021, and with two years remaining on his deal, the club wishes to lock him down for the future and avoid any messy transfer rumors brought on by a near-expiring contract. It’s quite frankly surprising that his name was not mentioned more this summer, as the two-year mark is typically when rumors begin to fly, especially for a player in such fine form.

The Gabon international for the Premier League Golden Boot last season with 22 goals and bagged eight more in 12 Europa League appearances as the Gunners progressed to the final. While Arsenal famously doesn’t often negotiate extensions with players over the 30-year-old mark – at least during Arsene Wenger‘s tenure – it’s clear that Aubameyang is a vitally important player to the squad, and any return to the Champions League hinges on his strike abilities.

The Telegraph report claims that Arsenal has reflected this in its offer to Aubameyang, reporting that while the striker only makes around $242,000 per week at the moment, far below Mesut Ozil‘s $425,000 per week deal, fulfilling a Champions League incentive in his proposed new deal could see Aubameyang reach the German’s wage total. This sees Aubameyang potentially realize a massive payday in his near future while also allowing Arsenal to maintain fiscal responsibility with the club missing out on Champions League paydays going on three consecutive seasons.

That jives with what Unai Emery said this past weekend, confirming that the club is working on extensions for both Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, saying those negotiations are “one issue now, that the club is working on.”

Arsenal brass has been vocal about its struggle with deploying a squad capable of reaching the Champions League while playing successive seasons in the lower tiered Europa League. Board member Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan Kroenke, even said this summer, “It’s no secret that we have a Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget right now. That’s a fact. And one that we’re figuring out how to face internally at the moment.”

Gunners’ new Head of Football Raul Sanllehi is reportedly the one leading negotiations, and one year into his tenure has done well to both make Arsenal a force in the transfer market and also be creative financially to keep the Gunners afloat while they search for a return to the promised land.