Arsenal must cash in on captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer to avoid losing him on free transfer next summer if he refuses to sign a new deal with the club.
That’s the view of Gunners icon Ray Parlour who would rather see his former club invest the money in another player thank keep hold of someone who could leave for nothing in12 months’ time.
Aubameyang’s future has been hovering over Gunners – with the star striker soon entering the final year of his £200,000-a-week contract.
With talks over a new deal still yet to be finalised, Arsenal are facing up to the prospect of losing the 30-year-old on a free transfer next summer. Reports circulate that they will only sell him if a £20million offer is put forward to them this summer.
Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain as well as rivals Chelsea have all been credited with an interest for the Gabon international.
And while Parlour wants to see Aubameyang to stay at the Emirates Stadium for many more seasons to come, he believes manager Mikel Arteta may have no choice but to sell.
‘I think you’ve got to sell him if he doesn’t sign a contract, and then take the money and try to replace him,’ he told Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast.
‘It’s really difficult to keep a player if he doesn’t want to stay.
‘It’s a big decision to make, but I don’t know what sort of money you could get for him if he doesn’t want to stay. If you get a good fee for him then you have to try and go out and replace him.
‘That is difficult, but it has happened at every single club when players come to the last year of their contract.
‘I’m praying that he wants to stay and Arsenal can sign him on a new contract and he can be there for the next two or three years under Arteta.
‘It all depends on the manager as well, if they get on, and also if he feels the club is going forward.
‘That is the big decision the club have got to make, but hopefully he stays.’
The Gabon international has 61 goals in 97 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal since joining in January 2018 – an output they will find hard to replace if they wish to secure a top-four berth next season.