The ex-Gunners star believes a big-money sale ought to be sanctioned if it will become clear that the prolific Gabonese striker Aubameyang wants out of north London.
Arsenal has to be looking to offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Manchester United table an offer of £100 million ($125m), says Charlie Nicholas, with £200m ($249m) required to make the Gunners top-four contenders again.
The Gunners have so far been unable to get their club captain tied down on a new contract.
As he is drawing close the final 12 months of his current terms, those at Emirates Stadium have a huge decision to make on Aubameyang’s future.
Having seen the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey run down their offers towards free agency in the past, Arsenal can’t afford to see the value of any other prized asset diminish.
Aubameyang is stated to be attracting interest from the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United, with Nicholas of the opinion that a deal could be done with the Red Devils regardless of Old Trafford not being the best destination for a proven frontman.
The former Gunners frontman told Sporting Life: “I do not see the glamour and appeal of joining Man Utd. Would he win the title with United in the next few years? I don’t think so. He would possibly not even be in the Champions League if he was to join. What is the real appeal? Is it a salary? I don’t assume he is that type.
“[Robin] van Persie jumped to a huge salary, however, Man Utd are not the same caliber as what they were. Would he be the cutting edge to them? Man Utd has different issues to address like Arsenal.
“If Arsenal had been to get £100m for him to sign for United, I would take that. It will make them better, that is why they would pay big. Arsenal were the challengers to United for the title, however now neither of them is. If Man Utd provide £100m for Aubameyang, sell him.”
If Arsenal were to do such a deal, then Mikel Arteta may want to be given the cash to reinvest in his squad.
The Spaniard can also additionally seek to get Mesut Ozil’s lucrative contract off his books, with Nicholas of the opinion that the Gunners can force their way back into the Premier League elite if they carry out the right business.
Nicholas added: “My preference would be to offer Aubameyang what he wants.
“Everyone will flag up his wages. I have been advised differing scenarios, especially with Mesut Ozil. Is it possible Ozil could move on? Could this then assist fund wages for Aubameyang and others? If they get him off the wage bill besides getting whatever for him, it will not be too bad.
“Arteta wants 5 or six out and he needs that cash to rebuild. If nothing more is in the pot, sell to rebuild.
“If you are doing that as a financial package, you are no longer buying to replace Aubameyang. You can get rid of Shkodran Mustafi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has been out on loan.
This will all help to filter through, so there are convenient things to do. Give him what he wants, get rid of the deadwood, you have the kids, and it would not cost £200m to challenge for the top 4 once more.”