Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reaffirmed his intention to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the club in January despite speculation of a transfer to Barcelona or Inter Milan.
Robert Warlow and Art De Roche of Football.London cited recent links with both European giants and provided comment from Arteta after he was quizzed on Aubameyang's future at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners boss told reporters on Thursday: "My intention is to keep Auba because with him we are closer to winning football matches. He's very happy here. We're not thinking to sell. There's nothing concluded on the table."
A transfer to either Barca or Inter seems unlikely at this juncture considering each club has a world-class striker leading their lines in Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku, respectively.
Aubameyang spoke to the club's official matchday programme before Monday's 1-0 FA Cup win over Leeds United, and he hinted at his frustration with rumours of a departure, via ITV:
He added: "I would like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about in the media. People like making up stories and they should focus on what's happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in!"
Questions were asked of Arsenal's £56 million signing after he recently went on a run of just four goals in 11 top-flight games, coinciding with the club's miserable patch of only one win in 15 matches.
Aubameyang now has 13 league goals to his name this season and is one of only two non-English players in the division with more than 10—Liverpool's Senegalese star, Sadio Mane, is the other—per The Independent:
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Top goal scorers in the Premier League this season: 1️⃣ Jamie Vardy = 1️⃣7️⃣ 🏴 2️⃣ P E Aubameyang = 1️⃣3️⃣ 🇬🇦 2️⃣ Danny Ings = 1️⃣3️⃣ 🏴 4️⃣ Tammy Abraham = 1️⃣2️⃣ 🏴 4️⃣ Marcus Rashford = 1️⃣2️⃣ 🏴 6️⃣ Harry Kane = 1️⃣1️⃣ 🏴 6️⃣ Raheem Sterling = 1️⃣1️⃣ 🏴 https://t.co/a5pglNzmzF
The Gabon international scored in each of his first two Premier League appearances under Arteta, who has led Arsenal to successive domestic wins for the first time since September.
The former Manchester City assistant has swiftly earned something of a reputation for his tough-love approach as a manager in north London.
The Spaniard recently expressed his willingness to let his players know when he's unhappy, something that may not have been as forthcoming with his predecessor, Unai Emery:
Arteta clinched his first Premier League win as a manager when Arsenal defeated Manchester United 2-0 at home on New Year's Day, but the Gunners will be on the road when they visit Crystal Palace on Saturday.