ARSENAL have shelved talks with Pierre–Emerick Aubameyang over a new contract deal and are willing to listen to offers by him, reports have claimed. Mikel Arteta’s side have agreed a 12.5 per cent pay cut with most of their players.
The Gabon international, who has scored 20 goals in 32 appearances for the Gunners this season, is reportedly making contract demands which Arsenal simply cannot afford to meet.
Aubameyang currently earns £200,000 a week at the Emirates, but it is widely understood that he wants a significant pay rise before his contract expires next summer.
It would be difficult to meet that demand in normal circumstances, but it is understood that the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have rendered it a near-impossibility.
So, because the Gunners want to avoid losing Aubameyang on a free transfer in 2021, they have now opened their doors to offers from other clubs who are thought to be knocking.
Regardless of their place on the football pyramid, all teams have been profoundly affected by COVID-19, and must now find ways to ensure that they emerge unscathed the other side.
Arsenal might have already agreed a 12.5% wage cut with their players, but new reports suggest that further measures must still be taken at the Emirates to ease financial trouble.
Two clubs with reported interest are Barcelona and Inter Milan, with whom Aubameyang could conceivably fulfil his reported desire to play Champions League football again.
They will be hopeful that Aubameyang’s signature could be secured for a knocked-down fee, as Arsenal attempt to salvage back as much as they can of the £56 million they paid for him.