Mikel Arteta says he is not thinking about the prospect of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving Arsenal during the January transfer window. Aubameyang has been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter having hit 13 Premier League goals this season, despite the Gunners' poor run of form that lead to Unai Emery's departure.
Responding to rumours about his future, the Arsenal striker this week told RMC: "For now, I'm here. I'm 100 per cent here." Aubameyang became Arsenal's captain after Granit Xhaka was stripped of the armband by Emery and Arteta is determined to keep the Gabon international, whose contract expires in 2021, at the club.
Asked if Aubameyang could leave in January, Arteta told reporters on Thursday: "I don't even think about that possibility with Auba, I want him here." Arteta also reiterated his intention to keep Xhaka at Arsenal, with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin having lined up a deal for the Switzerland international.
"I had a conversation with him and I wanted to understand his feelings, the reason why he was feeling he wasn't in the right place for his career," Arteta said ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup third-round tie against Championship high-flyer Leeds United.
"I told him I was ready to support him. I wanted his team-mates to get his back, to help him change his mind because we need him. I've seen him act and train every day and the quality of the player. He can be a really quality player for the club
"From my perspective, I don't want him to leave. I hope [he stays]. I said to the club no. I said to him no. After, in life, I cannot control what happens."
Arteta also indicated Eddie Nketiah will depart on loan for the second half of the campaign after his spell at Leeds was cut short.
"Again, I have to speak with him," Arteta added. "I think the first idea was that he was going to be on loan for the rest of the season. We have to assess the situation again now. At the moment [I don't know] but I will have some answers very soon."