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Arteta keen for Auba deal

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

PA

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal need to sit down with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the end of the season and thrash out a new deal.

The 30-year-old has scored 20 goals in all competitions for the Gunners so far this season, double the amount of any of his team-mates.

With some of Europe's elite clubs reportedly showing an interest, Arsenal will be keen to tie their talisman down to a new contract and avoid losing him on a free as they did with Aaron Ramsey last year.

Now Arteta has urged those talks to take place sooner rather than later to make sure they keep hold of the Gabon striker.

"We will have to do that at some stage before the end of the season for sure and we will see the intentions that we have (and) his intentions," Arteta said.

"Where we are sitting in (the table at) that moment. I think it is difficult to predict that context right now. For me it is very easy. I want to keep him under any circumstances."

Having sat out Monday's FA Cup fifth-round win at Portsmouth, Aubameyang is expected to return to the starting line-up for the visit of the Hammers.

Lucas Torreira will be missing however, having been taken off on a stretcher early on at Fratton Park, the club confirming yesterd that the Uruguay midfielder has fractured his ankle.