London (AFP) – Mikel Arteta believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at Arsenal could be influenced by the outcome of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea as the Gunners try to convince the Gabon international to extend his contract.
Aubameyang, 31, has just one year left on his deal at the Emirates and given Arsenal’s financial predicament, it would make sense to sell in the close season if he cannot be convinced to prolong his contract.
Despite his strike rate as one of Europe’s deadliest forwards over the past six years, Aubameyang has just two major trophies to his name with cup wins at St Etienne and Borussia Dortmund.
Arteta captained Arsenal to two FA Cup wins during his playing career and believes experiencing that success could convince Aubameyang to trust the club are going in the right direction.
“No, I don’t have that feeling,” said Arteta on Friday when asked if Saturday’s clash could be Aubameyang’s final game for the club.
“It’s a package at the end. You need to have a lot of ingredients on the table to persuade a player of his level to be at this football club.
“Don’t forget that he still has a contract here with us. We want to do it in a long-term, at the moment he’s with us and he should be really proud of where he is.
“Winning a trophy helps to really believe and feel ‘wow’, I want more of these moments. If you are wearing the armband and able to lift that cup, it is such a moment. This is going to help for sure.”
Winning a trophy in his first season in management would also be a huge bonus for Arteta to prove he can restore Arsenal’s former glories.
“It generates trust when you win titles,” he added. “It generates moments when together you go through some good emotions.
“It brings everybody together, you have memories, there is a lot of things about winning a trophy that is so positive for any group and when you are in a process of (development) that makes it even more important, so we have a great opportunity tomorrow, let’s go for it.”
Beating their London rivals behind closed doors at Wembley would also ensure Arsenal do not miss out on European football next season for the first time since 1995/96 by qualifying for the Europa League.
“It’s a final, the only focus is on winning that trophy tomorrow,” said Arteta.
“Financially it would be really helpful and on the sporting side, to play European football for this club is a must.”
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