Mikel Arteta Aubameyang Arsenal

Arteta 'positive' Aubameyang will stay

Mikel Arteta is "pretty positive" that Arsenal are close on agreeing a new long-term deal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to secure his future at the club.

Aubameyang's current deal expires next summer, and the Gabonese said that it is the biggest decision in his career.

However, Arteta, who was put in charge in December, believes that Aubameyang will stay with the Gunners.

"We have many discussions with Pierre, with his family and his agent. I'm pretty positive we can find the right agreement for all parties," said the 38-year-old Spaniard.

"It is our responsibility to make him feel this is the right next step in his career.

"In order to do that he needs to feel valued. He needs to feel like he belongs to us and we want him.

"He really needs to believe we can take this club forward in the way we want to do and he's going to be a key player to do that.

"We would have liked to do things much quicker but our hands have been tied with time and communication. These unprecedented times bring a lot of uncertainty."

Aubameyang has been one of the top scorers for Arsenal in the last two seasons as he scored 61 goals in 97 appearances since joining the club.

"I think at the moment I am extremely happy with how he's been performing and behaving," added Arteta.

"I have a really good relationship with him and we can discuss face to face a lot of things. So far as I'm aware I think he's very happy at the club."

Arteta believes that the coronavirus put a hold on the negotiations over the renewal of Aubameyang's contract.

"In a different context we'd have liked to do things much quicker but obviously it is unprecedented times.

"That brings a lot of uncertainty. But things are getting clearer and clearer every day that we are a step closer to getting back playing football and we want to move forward."

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