London: Arsenal are working on a complicated deal to reward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for his goal-scoring form that would net the striker a huge bonus if he fires the club back into the Champions League.
Raul Sanllehi, head of football, is leading negotiations and is hopeful of pulling off another piece of shrewd business for Arsenal, having secured the signings of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz this summer.
Aubameyang shared last season’s Premier League golden boot with Mohammad Salah and Sadio Mane, after scoring 22 times for Arsenal and has started this term with two goals in his first two games.
Unai Emery, the head coach, last week revealed talks with Aubameyang, whose contract expires in 2021, were under way and The Daily Telegraph says there is optimism on both sides that an agreement can be reached. The Gabonese earns about 200,000 pounds a week, plus bonuses, some way off top earner Mesut Ozil.
Arsenal cannot hand out another fixed contract of the size of Ozil’s 350,000 per week, but Sanllehi is structuring an offer that would give Aubameyang the opportunity to earn as much as the German through bonuses if the club qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Following wins over Newcastle United and Burnley, Arsenal play at Liverpool and at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the next two weeks.
It is unclear whether Aubameyang’s contract will be extended under the new terms, but Arsenal hope a big pay rise will further underline their faith in the 30-year-old striker.
Arsenal are aware that he caught the interest of several top European clubs this summer, but the player did not pursue a move.
Aubameyang has received assurances over his role in the team, following the club-record signing of Pepe.