In Brief

Arsenal transfer news: Aubameyang set to quit if Gunners don’t make top four

Striker is being sized up by Spanish giants, as Xhaka seeks move to Italy

Aubameyang will quit Arsenal if they fail to finish in the top four

There is yet more gloomy news for Gooners with the report in the Daily Star claiming that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to leave the ‘Mayhemirates’  if Arsenal don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League. Currently in sixth position, eight points behind fourth place Man City, Arsenal’s prospects of a top four finish appear slight given their shocking form this season so far.

That’s why the Star says that Aubameyang is refusing to sign a new contract. Since arriving in a £56m deal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, the Gabon goal machine has netted 50 times in 78 appearances for the Gunners and that form has come to the attention of Real Madrid. Reports in Spain at the weekend claimed that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are circling the 30-year-old marksman, and acording to El Desmarque newspaper, Madrid are ready to pay in excess of £65m to bring him to the Spanish capital.

Weighing up his options

The Star says that Aubameyang is “likely to consider his options in the summer transfer window” if Arsenal once again fail to provide him with Champions League football, and the Gunners would be under pressure to sell given that he is entitled to negotiate a free move abroad in January 2021.

The tabloid also cites a report in The Athletic claiming that some within Arsenal hierarchy “have questioned Aubameyang’s suitability” for the captaincy on account of his close relationship with AFTV (ArsenalFanTV). Described as “controversial”, the Arsenal YouTube channel is accused by some of the suits of “promoting negativity towards the team” and Aubameyang could come under pressure to sever his ties or relinquish the armband.

Xhaka to Milan

As for the man whom Aubameyang replaced as captain, Granit Xhaka, he is “reportedly seeking a new home in Milan as part of his attempts to earn a January transfer”. The Sun says that the Swiss midfielder is not expected to be seen again in an Arsenal shirt after his spectacular strop against Crystal Palace last month, and apparently AC Milan are hovering. Languishing in 14th position in the Serie A, AC Milan need some new blood and the Sun claims that Ivan Gazidis, the Milan club’s managing director, will use his contacts at the Emirates from his time there to broker a new year deal.

Emery gets more time

If Xhaka’s time at the Emirates appears to be over, Unai Emery has been given a stay of execution, reports BBC Sport. Rumours have been growing in recent days that the Gunners’ gaffer could be axed this month but head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham have countered with a bullish declaration. “We firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job,” they told Arsenal staff at a meeting. “We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect. Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season. We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.”

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