The winds of change are blowing through the Emirates and some very hard decisions are set to be made by Arsenal football club including the possible sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer.
The new transfer policy is that any player that does not agree to a new contract when there are two years remaining on their contracts will be sold and one of those players this year is the Gabon international.
He is not the only one, Mesut Ozil also comes into that category, though his sale would not be as controversial as that of Aubameyang.
This hard-line policy has been confirmed by the Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham who has made it abundantly clear what direction the club will take when it comes to negotiating new deals.
“We need to make sure we are really disciplined,” Venkatesham said.
“A good example of that is senior players that aren’t towards the end of their careers, we need to make sure that those players, when they’ve got two years left on their contract, we’re making the difficult decisions.
“We’re either renewing those players’ contracts, or we’re selling those players.
“So we’re going to have to be brave with those decisions along the way, because we can’t be in a situation where we are allowing players to walk out the door for free unless they are coming towards the end of their career.”
The two immediate consequences are that Ozil will have no option but to take some form of wage cut or be sold and Aubameyang will have to agree on a new long term deal or also be offloaded.
Selling the Golden Boot winner would be fairly easy, Real Madrid are in the frame and a good few other clubs would also be interested in signing the 29-year-old but it would be a different scenario with Ozil.
His salary is huge and it is hard to think of any club that would be willing to buy him and continue to pay him £350k per week and if the German will not accept a pay cut then the chances are he will simply sit out his contract and leave on a free in 2021.
As an Arsenal fan, I wholeheartedly agree with the new policy even if it means losing Auba this summer. I really do not want to see him sold but I have had enough of losing players for nothing or seeing the club blackmailed into offering ridiculous contracts to players.
We had to take a stand at some point and whenever we did there was always the risk of losing a high profile player earlier than what we wanted.
But the club has taken the decision to become self-sufficient in terms of transfer funding and that can only work if we sell players to raise funds rather than lose them on free transfers or well below market value.