Photo credit: AFP.

Bundesliga leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has fueled speculation he is set to leave Borussia Dortmund after missing the club’s return to training following the winter break on Tuesday. A club spokesman said the Gabon international was absent “for personal reasons” although reports have linked the 26-year-old with Premier League clubs Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

“We all hope he’ll (Aubameyang) stay,” said teammate Matthias Ginter after the first training session in January for a Dortmund side who are second in the Bundesliga, eight points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

“He’s very important, on the pitch and off, for what he contributes to the group atmosphere.”

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Aubameyang has had his best start to a season since arriving from Saint-Etienne in 2013, scoring 18 goals in 17 Bundesliga games and 27 in all competitions.

Ginter expressed the same hope regarding midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, reportedly a target for Serie A giants Juventus.

“We would be delighted if they stayed as long as possible with us. I hope they will extend their contracts.”

Aubameyang is under contract with Dortmund until 2020 and Gundogan until 2017.

Dortmund leave on Thursday for a winter training camp in Dubai, before returning to league action at Borussia Moenchengladbach on January 23.