Mikel Arteta plans to hold contract talks with Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the end of the season.
Aubameyang’s contract at Emirates Stadium is set to expire at the end of next season and the Gabon international has been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.
The 30-year-old has scored 61 goals in 96 appearances for the Gunners since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
Asked about sitting down with Aubameyang to discuss his contract situation, Arteta told a news conference: “We will have to do that before the end of the season, for sure.
“I will see the intentions we have, his intentions, where we are sitting in that moment is difficult to predict right now. For me it’s very easy, I want to keep him in any circumstances.”
Arsenal bounced back from suffering Europa League elimination in the last 32 against Olympiacos last week by beating Portsmouth 2-0 on Monday, earning an FA Cup quarter-final against Sheffield United.
The Gunners could win a third straight Premier League game for the first time this season when they entertain West Ham on Saturday and Arteta hopes a positive result can help inspire a late push for Champions League qualification.
Arsenal sit 10th in the top flight, eight points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea and five back from Manchester United in fifth, a position that will provide a route into Europe’s premier club competition if Manchester City’s two-season ban for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations is upheld.
“Beat West Ham on Saturday and we are closer. That’s all I’m thinking because a few weeks ago it looked impossible, but if we beat West Ham it will look more likely,” said Arteta.
“The only aim is to go game by game and start grabbing three points and three points and then we’ll have a chance in the last three or four games of the season.”
Lucas Torreira will be unavailable for the foreseeable future after suffering a fractured right ankle against Portsmouth.
“He was quite positive this morning when I spoke with him. He was in pain. We don’t know the extent of the injury, he needs to see the specialist here in London,” said the Arsenal boss.
“Since I joined the amount of things that have happened are enormous. We just have to try to adapt, it’s part of football. It happens to many other teams, so we cannot cry about it.
“Sometimes it’s bad luck, sometimes it’s part of the game we play, and sometimes things that we can avoid and do better as well.