Mikel Arteta insists the FA Cup final will not be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s last match for Arsenal – even if the Gunners lose.
With the Gabon international out-of-contract next summer, there has been permanent speculation that Arsenal may be forced to cash in on him once the season is over – especially if they miss out on European football.
Talks on a new contract are ongoing, with Aubameyang understood to be demanding £250,000-a-week to sign a new three-year contract.
However, Arteta has long insisted that his player is fundamentally happy at the club, and dismissed fears that the season finale against Chelsea at Wembley would be Aubameyang’s farewell.
“No, I don’t have that fear,” he said. “What I said is it’s a package at the end. You need a lot of ingredients on the table to persuade a player of his level to be at this football club.
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“Don’t forget that he still has a contract here with us. We wanted to keep him and do it in a more long-term way but at the moment he’s with us and I think he should be really proud of where he is as well.”
More intriguingly, Arteta let slip that Arsene Wenger’s influence is still being wielded around the club two years after he retired from the hot seat.
The legendary Frenchman’s former captain revealed he has been ringing up his mentor for advice in his first few months as Arsenal manager.
However, going into the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley, Arteta insists it is very much his own work.
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“I have not been in touch with him before the final but I have been in touch with him a few times over the previous months,” he said.
“They were private conversations, but it is great to have him on board. He gives you great advice.
“It is great just talking to him. He has such a knowledge, and is such an intelligent person. Knowing that he is there and is going to be supporting us and supporting me, I feel calmer.
“In football, you can talk about anything to him and you just have to get your book out and take some notes.”
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