Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was reportedly the subject of a ‘solid offer’ from Barcelona before the 31-year-old agreed a new three-year deal with the Gunners.
Aubameyang’s previous contract with Arsenal expired in June 2021 and the Gabon international has been embroiled in contract talks with the club for a longer term. However, while Arsenal looked to keep their captain in north London, a number of Europe’s elite teams attempted to pry Aubameyang away.
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Spanish behemoths Barcelona made a ‘solid offer’ for the Arsenal talisman at the start of the transfer window, along with interest from last season’s Serie A runners-up Inter, according to Sky Sports.
Before the appointment of Mikel Arteta as head coach – now officially the ‘first team manager’ – Aubameyang’s future was considered far more uncertain. Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth explained Arteta’s influence on the negotiations, saying: “I’m told Aubameyang was considering his future at the Emirates before Arteta arrived.
“He had doubts about the direction the club was going at that stage. Arteta has said it was his job and Arsenal’s job to convince Aubameyang that the club wanted him, that Arsenal wanted him. The place, that he will sign for him. The right player and challenge for the trophy. It took some time but he was convinced and Aubameyang signed this new contract.”
Aubameyang and Arteta pose with the FA Cup trophy after beating Chelsea in the 2020 final / Mark Atkins/Getty Images
Despite an impressive strike rate of 55 goals in 86 Premier League appearances, Aubameyang has played Champions League football with Arsenal in each of his two and a half seasons at the club.
While Aubameyang has understandably kept the details of contract talks vague, Arteta is clearly confident the club’s No.14 will agree to an extension.
Last season’s second top scorer in the Premier League has been linked with Arsenal until the summer of 2023 in a £250,000-a-week deal. Although the salary is expected to be higher at £350,000 a week when loyalty payments and bonuses are taken into account.