Arsenal have been warned they are « playing a very, very dangerous game » with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by gambling on their Champions League qualification.
The standoff between player and club remains ongoing, with Aubameyang speaking out this week to suggest the ball is in Arsenal’s court.
Aubameyang is thought to be demanding a significant raise on his current salary – a figure which Arsenal are unwilling to pay if they don’t finish in the top four.
That scenario currently looks unlikely, and Aubameyang’s own ambitions to play in Europe’s top club competition could force him out of the club either this summer or next.
He would be the latest in a long line of star players to depart the club, and ex-Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell feels his former employers should « break the bank » to keep him.
Arsenal are standing firm over Aubameyang’s contract demands
« I think Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot yet again, » Campbell told talkSPORT . « They’ve played a game and they’ve taken a risk hoping that they’ll qualify for the Champions League so that would obviously push him to be signing, but it isn’t quite working out this season.
“It’s a very, very dangerous game that they’re playing. The backroom people and the hierarchy said they would never put themselves in this position again, but what have they done? They’ve put themselves in this situation again.
“The club has been run so poorly on the transfer retention side, they keep putting themselves in this very difficult situation and it’s not right, fans are going to go crazy about it. »
Aubameyang will enter the final year of his current deal at the end of this month, putting Arsenal in a difficult situation over whether to cut their losses now or potentially lose him for nothing next year.
While the striker turns 31 in a few days, he remains Arsenal’s top goalscorer and has a number of top clubs interested in signing him.
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And Campbell has backed The Gunners’ captain for his stance in the negotiations.
“I think Aubameyang is right to put the ball firmly in their court and it’s now up to Arsenal to make some moves and prove to him that they’re serious, » he added.
“What Arsenal have been doing, skimping and scraping, is not going to turn his head to stay. If Mikel Arteta wants to keep him they have to break the bank to keep him, they have to. »
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