Mikel Arteta has provided an update on the transfer situations of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette amid rumours they could leave Arsenal when the January window opens next month.
Aubameyang has failed to score in six matches and was dropped to the bench for Monday night’s defeat against Everton, while his good friend Lacazette has just one goal in 10 Premier League appearances.
This has sparked rumours that the Gunners could look to bring in a new centre forward to solve their attacking problems, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin among the names linked.
However, Arteta has moved to suggest that he has no intention of selling his captain.
When asked specifically about Gary Neville’s suggestion on Monday that Arsenal may look to sell Aubameyang the Spaniard categorically denied this to be the case.
“Obviously, we have never discussed something like this,” he said in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton at the Emirates Stadium. “When players are under difficulty, or the team is under difficulty, what we have to give is support.”
He was also quick to dismiss any suggestions that there had been a break down in his relationship with the Gabon international after he was benched at Goodison Park.
“I have a very good relationship with my players,” the Spaniard said. “The first thing that I have to understand is what can be the best for the club and for the team.
“That can benefit any of the individuals but I will always do it. The decisions are not personal they are to get performances and the best out of the team. That’s it.”
Meanwhile, when also asked about the future of Lacazette, Arteta was slightly more vague suggesting that no decision has yet been finalised.
“The same every time that you guys are asking the question. Nothing in here,” he said when asked if there were any updates on the Frenchman’s contract which is set to expire in the summer.
Arteta was however, more willing to talk about the future of Eddie Nketiah who is also set to leave the Emirates at the end of the season.
“Well Eddie has six months left in his contract,” the Spaniard said. “There have been discussions with him and the agent to try to find the best possible way because Eddie knows how much I rate him, how much I like him, and I would like to keep him at the club.”
Reports emerged last week that Nketiah had rejected the Gunners latest offer of a new deal, which appeared to put to bed any chance of him staying, but Arteta seemed to admit that he’s not given up yet.
“Well he’s our player. He’s someone that we raised, he has the Arsenal DNA in his blood and he loves the club so much,” the 39-year-old said.
“His reason is that he wants to play more football and that’s a genuine reason. It’s nothing to do with anything else. He wants more minutes, he feels he’s able to contribute more, and that’s why I like him.”
This would seem to imply that it is unlikely the Gunners will be bringing in a centre forward in the January transfer window.