Arsenal face a difficult decision regarding the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker has yet to agree a new deal with the club. And according to reports in Italy, Inter Milan have identified the forward as a replacement for Lautaro Martinez, who is a summer transfer target of Manchester United.
Aubameyang will only have 12 months remaining on his current deal with the Gunners at the end of the season and the club could be forced to sell the striker in the summer or risk losing him on a free transfer in 2021.
According to Italian publication CalcioMercato, Inter have identified Aubameyang as their number one replacement for Martinez, if the Argentine striker leaves the club.
United, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, have been monitoring Martinez’s situation at the Serie A club this season.
The report claims the Nerazzurri expect the 22-year-old to leave the San Sio in the summer after having an impressive second season with them.
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The Argentine has scored 16 goals and provided four assists in 30 appearances in all competitions this campaign.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in the market for a striker in the summer, as they have yet to sign a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Inter last year.
While Barcelona see Martinez as the ideal replacement for 33-year-old Luis Suarez and Real are exploring options following the disappointing season from Luka Jovic, who has only scored two goals since making his switch to the Bernabeu.
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- Arsenal have growing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contract confidence
And while none of the interested team appear willing to currently pay Martinez’s £92million (€111m) release clause, Inter are still putting a plan in place in case he leaves.
However, Arsenal are growing in confidence that they can convince Aubameyang to commit his long-term future to the club.
The 30-year-old has 19 goals and an assist in 30 appearances in all competitions this season, but has been unhappy that the club isn’t competing in the Champions League or for silverware.
Although it is understood the Gabon international is happier at the club, now Mikel Arteta is the boss, than he was with Unai Emery as manager.
And the north London club hope he will be willing to stick around to help Arteta restore the club to its former glory.
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The Spaniard recently admitted that while he understands the player’s frustrations, he is still hopeful they can persuade Aubameyang to stay.
“Hopefully we can convince him that this is the right place for him and that he has a future here,” Arteta said.
“I think it’s been tough for a player like him, because there’s been a lot of disappointment in the last few months or years because he has big expectations and he wants to play for the biggest clubs in the biggest tournaments.
“He wants to be up there with the best players in the world, and we have to try and support him and give him everything as a club, so that he really feels fulfilled here. That’s the challenge that we have.”
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