Mikel Arteta has told Arsenal fans they can ‘relax’ over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract situation.
The Gabon international - whose current deal expires next summer - has been locked in talks over a three-year extension for months.
It has long been understood that an agreement has been reached with the 31-year-old, who has finished as Arsenal’s top scorer in each of the last two seasons, but an official announcement has yet to be made.
With the new season starting against Fulham this weekend, that has led to some concerns amongst the fanbase, but speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Craven Cottage, Arteta has told the Arsenal supporters that they have nothing to worry about.
“I think they can be pretty relaxed,” said Arsenal’s manager. “I can say that I am even more confident that I was at the end of last season.”
Aubameyang’s new contract is expected to see him earn around £250,000 a week (€270,000/$320,000) and will finally put an end to talk of him leaving the club amid interest from the likes of Barcelona and Inter.
One player who could be on his way, however, is Emiliano Martinez, who is wanted by Aston Villa. Arsenal have received two bids so far for their Argentine goalkeeper, who they value at around £20 million (€22m/$25m), and there is growing sense they could reluctantly let him go.
Martinez is desperate to be first choice and his preference is to remain at Arsenal, but he will look to move on should the fit-again Bernd Leno get the nod from Arteta.
Arsenal's manager was giving nothing away, however, when asked whether the 28-year-old was potentially on his way out.
“I cannot stop speculation about all our players,” he said. “I don’t want to comment on any individuals at the moment without having the right answer to give.
“We have some really good players in many different positions and some of them are duplicated. Obviously clubs come to us and are interested in getting our players.
“It’s very difficult to promise our players game time or that they will be first choice. So it’s part of this period in the market. We try to manage the situation as well as we can.
“What the players expectations are and what we can achieve with them at the club. We are making decisions towards that.”