Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is happy at Arsenal and willing to stay but things beyond his control have to progress to make that happen.

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Richard Heathcote / POOL / AFP)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Richard Heathcote / POOL / AFP)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to form against Norwich City on Wednesday, scoring a brace and assisting one more in a 4-0 win for Mikel Arteta’s side.

With Bukayo Saka’s contract extension earlier in the day and the two goals that evening, all the attention is now on Aubameyang’s contract situation. As things stand, he has a deal until 2021, but Arsenal are keen to extend.

Arteta made that very clear after the game, explaining that he wants to keep Aubameyang. The head coach suggested the striker wants to stay as well, but there’s still some way to go in negotiations.

“Hopefully, we can keep him here for a longer period,” Arteta said. “We need players that can make the difference at any moment in the game every three days, in different competitions, and that’s a big test for him.

“He’s done that at different clubs, he’s willing to stay with us, he’s really happy where he is and can see what we’re trying to do.

“Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him and the project that I want to create, and how much he’s part of that. After that, it’s not in my hands.

“I don’t know (how far he is from signing), I am positive that we can keep him here for many years but things have to progress.”

It does seem like Mikel Arteta is helping the players believe they have a capable head coach in charge. When Unai Emery was at the helm, you couldn’t help but feel like he was hindering extensions as much as helping.

It’s going to take more than that to get Aubameyang to sign, however.

The financial side is tricky but doable when you consider recent departures (Henrikh Mkhitaryan). Showing competitiveness on the pitch and qualifying for the Champions League is a more difficult one. Arsenal really need to keep winning.