Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is preparing to 'take matters into his own hands' as he looks to convince captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to put pen to paper on an extended deal at the Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang has been in sensational form once again this season, grabbing 20 goals in all competitions prior to football's enforced break. Although predominantly a striker, he has also continued to shine while operating out on the left wing.
The former Borussia Dortmund star's future has been the topic of much discussion in recent months, however. The 30-year-old has just over one year remaining on his current deal and this has led to growing talk that he could soon be on his way out of the club.
Aubameyang was said to be 'seriously considering' his future back in January amid speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona. While a move to Camp Nou never materialised, a source confirmed to 90min in March that Arsenal are prepared to let him go in the summer as they don't want to risk losing their star man for free the following summer. Chelsea were one of the teams to be showing an interest in the forward.
90min further learned in April that the Gunners have no plans to engage in further contract talks and, as a result, they are considering trying to sell him before the start of the 2020/21 season.
More recently, reports elsewhere suggested that the north London giants had offered Aubameyang a new deal to stay at the club, but it was later revealed that this wasn't the case. However, the Telegraph report that Arsenal boss Arteta is now ready to take matters into his own hands.
The report notes that although the Gunners know they may be forced to part ways with their captain in the next transfer window, Arteta is 'desperate' to tie him down to a new deal as he looks to build the team around him.
Arteta is 'preparing to initiate' talks with the player and his father, and hopes to convince them that under his management, the club can challenge for the top four and win trophies. However, the Telegraph note that Aubameyang won't be easy to convince as he is 'desperate' to play in the Champions League again and wants to be playing in a winning team.
Should Arteta fail to convince Aubameyang to stay, the Gunners could be forced to sell him in the summer for around £35m. There is plenty of interest in the Gabon international - with PSG and Inter, as well as Chelsea and others, keen to recruit him.