Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has admitted that he rejected Barcelona, among other clubs, to sign a new contract at the Emirates. The Gunners managed to tie the Gabonese striker down to a new three-year contract after major speculation surrounding his future at the club.
The 31-year-old credited Mikel Arteta for convincing him about the new project at Arsenal. He also spoke about the special relationship he has with the fans of the London club.
"There were several offers, notably from Barça, but also other clubs. My priority was to stay for two reasons: the first is the coach, Mikel Arteta, because we spoke a fair amount during the 'lockdown' as they say here, we were at home and spoke several times and he convinced me, notably in terms of the project.
"And of course, secondly, is the love that I receive from the fans and people at the club. Since I have been here I have been treated like one of their own, and as I am one of their own, I am going to stay here, it is as simple as that."
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang excited for 'big test' against Liverpool
Arsenal have started the new season brightly, having lifted the FA Cup at the end of last season. The north London club also managed to get the better of Liverpool in the Community Shield, the same side they will face twice this week.
The Gunners have also spent smartly this window, making shrewd acquisitions of Willian and central defender Gabriel. Mikel Arteta is now reportedly in the market for a midfielder, with Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey mentioned as alternatives.
Arsenal will be tested this week by defending champions Liverpool, who have found their groove in the new campaign. However, the reigning Premier League champions have lost their last two fixtures against Arteta's new-look Arsenal.
Aubameyang remains confident of his side's chances ahead of the fixtures. He said:
"It would be great to compete with Liverpool. It's going to be a big test on Monday. We're ready, we're going without fear. Obviously, we want to annoy them. It's a dream and a goal for us."Published 28 Sep 2020, 12:04 IST