Rio Ferdinand explains why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is stalling over signing new Arsenal contract

Rio Ferdinand has explained why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is stalling over signing a new Arsenal contract
Rio Ferdinand has explained why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is stalling over signing a new Arsenal contract (Pictures: Getty / BT Sport)

Rio Ferdinand has revealed the two reasons Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is stalling over signing a new Arsenal contract.

Aubameyang, who became the fastest Arsenal player to reach 50 Premier League goals this week, is being strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates, with his current deal expiring next summer.

Despite hinting he may be ready to put pen to paper on a contract extension, Aubameyang is yet to commit his future to Arsenal and has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe.

Ferdinand says Aubameyang is essentially playing a ‘game of chess’ with Arsenal and has explained why he is stalling over signing a new deal.

‘It’s a game of chess,’ the former Manchester United and England defender told BT Sport when asked about Aubameyang’s future.

‘He wants to get as much value for himself as possible and Arsenal will want to drive that down a bit.

‘If he shows his hand too early then the club know he wants to stay and then they don’t need to go as far financially.

Aubameyang set an Arsenal record during the victory over Norwich City
Aubameyang set an Arsenal record during the victory over Norwich City (Picture: Getty)

‘But also he will be asking questions of the club. “What’s your recruitment strategy going forward? Which players are coming in to play alongside me? Can I compete for titles at Arsenal?”

‘He will want to know those things before signing a new contract.’

Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal thumped doomed Premier League relegation-battlers Norwich City 4-0 on Wednesday night.

Speaking after the win, Martin Keown added to BT Sport: ‘Arsenal would expect to beat Norwich. They played okay in the second half but Aubameyang was just too good.

‘Can Arsenal really afford for him to leave? That [his contract stand-off] is going to run and run. They’re obviously desperate for him to sign a new contract.’

Arsenal are currently seventh in the Premier League – eight points below Chelsea – and travel to Wolves on Saturday.

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