Mikel Arteta believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at Arsenal could be influenced by the outcome of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea as the Gunners try to convince the Gabon international to extend his contract.
Aubameyang, 31, has just one year left on his deal at the Emirates and given Arsenal’s financial predicament, it would make sense to sell in the close season if he cannot be convinced to prolong his contract.
Despite his strike rate as one of Europe’s deadliest forwards over the past six years, Aubameyang has just two major trophies to his name with cup wins at St Etienne and Borussia Dortmund.
Arteta captained Arsenal to two FA Cup wins during his playing career and believes experiencing that success could convince Aubameyang to trust the club are going in the right direction.
“No, I don’t have that feeling,” said Arteta on Friday when asked if Saturday’s clash could be Aubameyang’s final game for the club.
“It’s a package at the end. You need to have a lot of ingredients on the table to persuade a player of his level to be at this football club.
“Don’t forget that he still has a contract here with us. We want to do it in a long-term, at the moment he’s with us and he should be really proud of where he is.”
“Winning a trophy helps to really believe and feel ‘wow’, I want more of these moments. If you are wearing the armband and able to lift that cup, it is such a moment. This is going to help for sure.”
Winning a trophy in his first season in management would also be a huge bonus for Arteta to prove he can restore Arsenal’s former glories.
“It generates trust when you win titles,” he added. “It generates moments when together you go through some good emotions.
“It brings everybody together, you have memories, there is a lot of things about winning a trophy that is so positive for any group and when you are in a process of (development) that makes it even more important, so we have a great opportunity tomorrow, let’s go for it.”
Beating their London rivals behind closed doors at Wembley would also ensure Arsenal do not miss out on European football next season for the first time since 1995/96 by qualifying for the Europa League.
“It’s a final, the only focus is on winning that trophy tomorrow,” said Arteta.
“Financially it would be really helpful and on the sporting side, to play European football for this club is a must.”
Gattuso speaks on Pirlo’s Juventus appointment, says he’s screwed
Andrea Pirlo is “screwed now” after being handed the Juventus job, according to former team-mate Gennaro Gattuso.
The legendary midfielder appointed as Under-23s manager last week but on Saturday found himself fast-tracked into the top job following Maurizio Sarri’s sacking.
Sarri lasted just one year with Juventus, paying the price for their shock Champions League exit to Lyon, with Pirlo penning a two-year deal to succeed him.
Gattuso, now manager at Napoli, said of his former Italy and AC Milan team-mate:
“Well he’s screwed now. That’s the job.
“He’s lucky to be starting at Juventus, but this profession is one where a great playing career is not enough. You have to study, to work hard, and you don’t get much sleep.”
“Being a player and being a coach is really not the same thing at all. It’s a totally different profession and we can’t learn it just from books, we need to get in there and work hard. It’s a different world.”
Bale must leave on loan – Former Real Madrid President
Gareth Bale must look for a solution away from Real Madrid, insists former president Ramon Calderon, who believes a loan move is the best option to part with such “agony”.
“It’s very sad. It’s a pity to see a player like him in the stands… his skill and talent has not gone, he’s still a good player who could be playing at a high level in any team,” Calderon told the BBC.
“I think they’ll have to find a solution to end this agony for the sake of both sides. If he doesn’t want to reduce his salary, which would be understandable, they’ll have to find another way.
“The coach does not rely on him. If Zidane stays with Real, which I think is certain, then he (Bale) will have to find a new way… It wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go on loan and pay part of the salary.”
Juventus name Pirlo to replace Sarri
41-year-old Andrea Pirlo has taken charge at his former side despite never having managed at any level previously.
Goal can confirm that Juventus have named Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach, just hours after sacking Maurizio Sarri.
Pirlo was only named the club’s Under-23 head coach last month but has secured a major promotion before even taking charge of one match with the Serie C outfit.
It will be a major challenge for the 41-year-old, who has never managed before, either at youth or senior level.
Pirlo returns to Juve having starred for the club between 2011 and 2015.
The midfielder helped lead the Bianconeri to four straight Serie A titles, as well as the final of the 2014–15 Champions League.
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