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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said he hopes to convince captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to extend his stay beyond the end of his contract next year despite interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.

The 30-year-old scored twice in Arsenal’s 3-2 Premier League win over Everton on Sunday, lifting them to ninth and improving their chances of qualifying for Europe next season.

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Sources have told ESPN that Aubameyang, who took his tally to a league-high 17 goals alongside Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, was a target for Barcelona.

“They’re completely right to want him because he’s a superb player,” Arteta told reporters. “It’s right that the big teams like him.

“Hopefully we can convince him this is the right place to be. He is our most important player, no doubt the impact he has in this team. We will have to convince him to stay with us.”

Arsenal had to make sure they gave Aubameyang the right stage to perform on.

“He wants to play in the biggest competitions with the best players. We have to help him do that. He needs to feel fulfilled,” Arteta added.

“Before I took over I had my questions about him but he’s shown his commitment.

“I’m so happy with him. He is scoring important goals and as a captain he is giving a great example to everyone else with the way he’s working defensively.”

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