The former Arsenal striker feels those at Emirates Stadium should be breaking the bank to keep a prized asset, but accepts a sale may be forced
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unlikely to leave Arsenal for Manchester United, says Charlie Nicholas, with Alexis Sanchez’s struggles countering the success enjoyed by Robin van Persie when making a similar move.
Back in 2012, a prolific Dutch striker took the decision to swap the red of north London for that in the north west, while Chile international Sanchez made the same career call in January 2018 as his contract with the Gunners ran down.
Aubameyang is now in a similar boat, with no extension agreed to terms set to run through to 2021.
It has been suggested that the Gabonese could become the latest Arsenal star to head for Old Trafford, but Nicholas doubts that will be the case despite the obvious threat of a key man leaving Emirates Stadium.
The former Gunners forward told Sky Sports: “It depends what people put down as a risk. If he was to go to Manchester United, does it help Arsenal? No, not at all.
“If Aubameyang wants to leave, you ideally want him out of the Premier League. However, he is of a mind and age that I can see the dangers and understand comparisons with Van Persie. However, I think he will be thinking about what happened to Alexis Sanchez rather than Van Persie.
“Would he want to be a part of a superstar reload at Manchester United? Is there a great appeal to that? If it was Liverpool or Man City I would get it, but Manchester United are miles away from the top two. I do not see the appeal of moving to Old Trafford.
“Would he win the title with United in the next few years? I don’t think so. He might not even be in the Champions League if he was to join so what is the real appeal? Is it salary? I don’t think he is that type.
“Van Persie jumped to a massive salary, but Manchester United are not the same calibre as what they were then. Would he be the cutting edge for them? Maybe. But, like Arsenal, I think they have other issues to address.
“If Arsenal were to get £100m for him to go there, I would take that. Arsenal were once the challengers to United for the title, but now neither of them are. If Man Utd offer £100m for Aubameyang, sell him.”
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Nicholas believes Arsenal should be looking to break the bank for Aubameyang, having previously invested heavily in the likes of Mesut Ozil, but admits the Gunners cannot afford another repeat of the contract sagas which have seen top talent leave for nothing in recent times.
The Scot added: “My preference would be for Aubameyang to stay. The problem, however, is that as much as I would like to get my way, I have a feeling Arsenal will not keep him.
“If it means offloading Ozil and others to fund his new contract and the rebuilding of the team, I would have no problem with that. But if Ozil stays, I feel they will sell him, because they cannot afford another Aaron Ramsey saga.”