Arsenal are working on a complicated deal to reward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for his superb goalscoring form that will see the striker net a huge bonus if he fires the club back into the Champions League.
Head of football Raul Sanllehi is leading negotiations and is hopeful of pulling off what would be seen as another piece of shrewd business for the Gunners, having secured the signings of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tiernay and David Luiz this summer.
Aubameyang shared last season’s Premier League golden boot with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane after scoring 22 times for Arsenal and has started this term with two goals in his first two games.
Aubameyang currently earns around £200,000-a-week, plus bonuses, which is some way off top earner Mesut Ozil’s fixed £350,000-a-week contract.
Arsenal cannot hand out another fixed contract of the size of Ozil’s, but Sanllehi is structuring an offer that would give Aubameyang the opportunity to earn as much as the German through bonuses if the club qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Having missed out on Champions League qualification by a point and losing the Europa League final to Chelsea last season, Arsenal are targeting a top-four finish this term.
Following victories over Newcastle United and Burnley, Arsenal’s credentials will be tested over the next two weeks, away at Liverpool and at home to rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
It is unclear whether or not Aubameyang’s contract will be extended under the new terms, but Arsenal hope a big pay rise will further underline their faith in the 30 year-old.
Arsenal are aware that Aubameyang caught the interest of several top European clubs this summer, but the player did not pursue a move despite the Gunners’ failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League.
Aubameyang has received assurances from Emery over his role in the team, following the club-record signing of Pepe, and has also been buoyed by Arsenal’s summer business.
Sanllehi has been hailed by Gunners fans for managing to clinch the signings of Pepe, Ceballos, Tierney and Luiz despite working with a restricted budget.
It is believed his relationship with Lille sporting director Luis Campos was key to convincing the French club to allow Arsenal to pay for Pepe over a series of installments.
Displaying a similar amount of ingenuity to reward Aubameyang and provide him with even greater motivation to score enough goals to take Arsenal back into the Champions League would be viewed as another success for the former Barcelona man.
Arsenal paid a then club record £56 million to sign Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and he has scored a stunning 43 goals in 67 games.