What Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new contract could mean for Arsenal’s £45m transfer plan

It’s seemed to be a foregone conclusion for several weeks now that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would sign a new contract extension at Arsenal but it’s now been confirmed. Aubameyang was entering the final year of his contract this summer with some concerns over whether he was looking to leave in the transfer window.

Barcelona had appeared to be the favourites for his signature for several months particularly during Unai Emery’s time in charge.

He cut a frustrated figure with reports that he had grown disillusioned under Emery.

That soon changed under Arteta though, with the club showing promising signs they were heading in the right direction.

Arsenal finished the season in a disappointing eighth position but secured Europa League football with an impressive FA Cup victory, which saw them beat Manchester City and Chelsea along the way.

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They have also enjoyed a strong summer transfer window, bringing in Gabriel Magalhaes to bolster their defensive options along with Willian providing some experience up front.

Throughout the summer though, Arsenal fans were left wondering about Aubameyang’s future.

Several hints were dropped that it would be a matter of time but Arsenal have now confirmed the news following their opening day 3-0 win over Fulham.

Despite being the other side of 30, Aubameyang remains one of Europe’s most elite strikers having enjoyed an impressive strike-rate during his time at the Emirates.

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There would have been a queue of clubs chasing his signature next summer if he was going to be available on a free.

But Aubameyang clearly believes in the direction Arteta is taking the club by signing an extension, which could suggest he has been given promises that the club will continue to invest to help give them the best chance of climbing up the table.

Arsenal’s top target remains Thomas Partey, who has a £45million release clause in his contract with Atletico Madrid.

The Gunners have been crying out for a strong central midfielder for several years now with Lucas Torreira expected to leave the club in the near future.

Emiliano Martinez is also finalising a £20m transfer to Aston Villa, which could help fund a bid to sign Partey.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is also off the books at Arsenal, saving the club a small fortune in wages after he left on a free.

There had been some speculation that Alexandre Lacazette could be made available to leave Arsenal.

But Aubameyang has a close relationship with the Frenchman and he could have indicated to Arsenal that he wanted the striker to stay.

And with Torreira and Martinez set to leave, Lacazette may not need to depart anyway as Arteta looks to seal another big-name arrival before October 5 in Partey.

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