Arsenal will have no choice but to consider selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer if they fail to get him tied down to a new contract, says Kevin Campbell.
Discussions regarding fresh terms for the Gabonese frontman have dragged on for some time.
No agreement has been reached, sparking suggestions that a prolific presence could be lured away from Emirates Stadium.
La Liga giants Barcelona have been heavily linked with Aubameyang, with any club in Europe expected to be keen on adding a player of his calibre to their ranks.
Arsenal hope to avoid strengthening any of their rivals by getting the 30-year-old to commit to an extended stay in north London.
Campbell believes ambition in the transfer market could aid that cause, but concedes that the next window will be a big one for the Gunners.
He told AFTV of the Aubameyang situation: “My thoughts are Arsenal can’t afford to be in a difficult situation, sticky situation, having a player run his contract down anymore.
“I think it’s got to be put on the table to Aubameyang and I’m sure, if they’re in their right mind, they’ve been negotiating.
“So it’s going to come to the summer, it’s going to come to a head in the summer. If Aubameyang isn’t going to sign, they’re going to have to sell him.
“They’re going to have to get something for him in order to replace him. I think that’s the key.
“We can’t afford to lose his goals but a different solution probably has to come about. And this is where a lot of the trust in [Mikel] Arteta is going to come into play.
“I think either way, if he’s going to run his contract down, he’s going to have to be sold.
“If they don’t replace, let’s say they’re not going to replace him, that money has got to be used for other parts of the team. I think that’s really important.
“If we don’t re-sign Aubameyang, that money that we sell Aubameyang for has to be used to strengthen other areas.
“Attacking midfielder, winger, or whatever. We need other components within this team because we are still unbalanced.”
Campbell added on the approach Aubameyang will be taking when it comes to his future: “I would happily look the manager in the eye and I would ask this question: ‘You tell me who is going to be coming in next season, what’s your thoughts on how we’re going to move this thing forward?’.”
It remains to be seen what the answer to that question will be, with Arsenal currently focused on the present and getting the best out of Aubameyang in an ongoing bid to clamber out of mid-table in the Premier League and back towards the top four-chasing pack.