LONDON • Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has vowed to become an Arsenal “legend” after he ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract on Tuesday.
The Gabon forward revealed he had committed his future to Arsenal in a live Instagram stream from the Emirates Stadium, with over 100,000 people watching via the official Arsenal account as he pledged to follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright.
“I have seen incredible players, passionate players, Invincible players,” the 31-year-old said. “I dream of being one of them, among the best, and staying in the hearts of the fans forever. I want to become an Arsenal legend just like Thierry, Wrighty, (Tony) Adams and Bergkamp – too many to mention… I want to leave a legacy, this is where I belong, this is my family.”
He was joined on the call by teammate Alexandre Lacazette and Wright, who praised his decision.
“Others have left us in the past but you stayed when we needed you most,” Wright said.
The deal is reported to be worth £250,000 (S$440,000) a week, with bonuses that could take it beyond the £350,000-per-week wages of top earner Mesut Ozil.
Aubameyang moved to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and has scored 72 goals in 111 games in all competitions.
It is a major coup for Arsenal to keep the Premier League’s joint top scorer last year, with manager Mikel Arteta saying: “He’s an important leader for the team and a big part of what we’re building.”
On the other side of north London, Tottenham Hotspur are in talks with Real Madrid to re-sign their former star Gareth Bale.
The Wales forward has been frozen out by coach Zinedine Zidane, playing just 32 per cent of available minutes in La Liga last season. He has two years left on a contract that pays him around £600,000 per week and his wages are reportedly the biggest hurdle to a deal.
“Gareth still loves Spurs,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told BBC Sport Wales on Tuesday. “We are talking. It’s where he wants to go.”
Bale, 31, left Tottenham for Real in 2013 for a then world record fee of £85 million.