Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal is the “perfect place” for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and expressed his confidence that the Gabonese striker will extend his stay at the Emirates.
Aubameyang is out of contract in 12 months’ time but Arteta says he “likes the way the conversations are going” regarding a renewal.
The 31-year-old former Borussia Dortmund striker scored both goals as Arsenal beat Manchester City on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final and is a key part of Arteta’s plans to revitalise the Gunners.
Asked if there was a deadline for the deal to be concluded, Arteta told Sky Sports News: “I don’t know, to put a date right now is very difficult.
“I like the way the conversations are going, I like what I’m hearing. I’m sure for both parties, the quicker we can do it, the better for everyone.
“I am confident he will extend his stay.” That confidence is built from dialogue with the player and his representatives. Arteta added:
“He’s generally happy. I think he is enjoying his football. He is settled in the country and his family are good. “I think he can sense – and we’ve told him – how much we like him, how much we value him. I think the connection he has with the fans is unique. I believe he is in the perfect place for him.
“Everything I have from him and the people around him is the same. So I don’t have any arguments to say something different.” Arteta has made an impressive start to life as Arsenal boss having spent over three years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at City – highlighted by back-to-back victories over his former employers and, prior to that, league champions Liverpool.
The Spaniard had previously expressed concern at the level of backing he would get in the next transfer window but is now adopting a more optimistic tone. He said: “I think we will get all of the support that we need. “Some of the limitations that we have and the uncertainties that we have are going to be a little bit clearer in the next week or two weeks and then we will be in a much stronger position to know how much we can do or cannot do.
“But I am very positive because everything I’m hearing is that we want the same thing and that’s the most important thing.” Arsenal will move up to eighth in the Premier League table with a win at relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Tuesday night.