Charlie Nicholas urges Arsenal to meet contract demands of 20-goal forward

Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas has urged the Gunners to meet the contract demands of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they may struggle to find a replacement of a similar calibre.

Aubameyang, 30, has been a top-class performer for the north London side since his move from the Bundesliga two years ago and he has bagged 61 goals and 13 assists from 97 appearances.

Out of those, he has contributed 20 goals and one assist in the current campaign but there are doubts whether he would remain with the club next term with his contract expiring in 15 months’ time.

During a Sky Sports debate between Nicholas and Alan Smith, the former insisted that he would prefer to renew the contract of Aubameyang rather than focus on a rebuild.

He added that the club should seek to offload Mesut Ozil, who commands a sizeable £350,000-a-week salary and that should aid the club’s prospects of meeting the wage requirements of Aubameyang.

Nicholas told: “While I do believe that Arsenal need to fund a rebuild, my preference would be to offer Aubameyang what he wants. Is it possible Ozil could move on? Could this then help fund wages for Aubameyang and others?

“If they can get Ozil off the wage bill without getting anything for him, it will not be too much of a detriment. They must give Aubameyang exactly what he wants. There simply aren’t many other players like him at that level.”

Ozil has been fairly disappointing with his performances since signing the bumper contract more than two years ago and there has definitely been criticism from a section of the supporters.

The German’s current contract expires at the end of the 2020/21 season and it appears ideal for the club to part ways with his services during the next transfer window.

However, the chances of that happening appear slim with Ozil’s representative Erkut Sogut recently stating that the midfielder will honour the remaining length of the contract.

In this case, Mikel Arteta’s side may have a tougher task of meeting the salary demands of Aubameyang, particularly if he is eyeing a long-term contract on par with Ozil’s wages.

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