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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he considered Arsenal exit

Aubameyang admits he considered Arsenal exit
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Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits that he considered leaving the club for Barcelona or Inter Milan before ultimately signing a new contract.

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has admitted that he considered leaving the club this summer before eventually agreeing a new contract.

The 31-year-old ended speculation over his future by putting pen to paper on a three-year extension earlier this month, with his previous deal expiring next summer.

Barcelona and Inter Milan were among the clubs credited with an interest in his signature, but Aubameyang has revealed that he turned those offers down in order to continue playing under manager Mikel Arteta.

"Two things persuaded me to stay. The first thing was Mikel Arteta, because since he came in he brings a lot of positivity and a new philosophy for us. I think that was important because it matched my game and I feel that I can improve with him," the Gabon international told Sky Sports News.

"I think this was the key factor and as well, the love that I receive from the fans and the whole club. Everyone is treating me very, very good, so I feel at home and that's why I'm staying. We had a chat during lockdown and we were supposed to talk about a game and he said 'okay, forget about it, we're going to talk about the future' and he asked me what I wanted to do.

"I was like 'I feel good since you came, I'm improving, and the philosophy is very, very nice so I just want to stay' and he was like 'I'm sure if you stay you can leave a legacy, but it's all about you and what you want. Of course you can leave and go for trophies in big clubs as well but I think you can create a legacy here in this great club.'

"This was the key message to me and after that conversation I was like 'okay, it's all clear for me and I just want to stay' and that's it. I was thinking about it to tell you the truth because I had good opportunities as well.

"But this feeling to be here - the love from the fans and all the club - I'm not sure that by leaving I will receive the same love, so that's why I'm staying. I'm really proud to be the captain but it's not the biggest factor to stay. Of course, it's a great job to do but it was not a part of me staying here."

Aubameyang has scored twice in three appearances for Arsenal so far this season.

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