Mikel Arteta has insisted he does not believe the FA Cup final will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s last game for Arsenal.
But Arteta admitted that it “is a must” they win the trophy at Wembley to be able to keep their 27 goal top scorer this summer.
Gunners striker Aubameyang, 31, goes into the showdown with Chelsea with major question marks over his future because he has only one year left on his current deal.
Arsenal are relying on the FA Cup as a passport into Europe not only to play in the Europa League but a much needed cash boost to help their rebuilding plans and chances of keeping Aubameyang.
But when asked whether he felt it could be Aubameyang’s last game in an Arsenal shirt, Arteta said: “No, I don’t have that feeling.
“It’s a package at the end, you need to have a lot of ingredients on the table to persuade a player of his level to be at this football club.
“It is a massive day. I wouldn’t like to talk or link too much these two factors but it’s a reality obviously that financially it would be really helpful and obviously from the sporting side as well to play in Europe for this club is a must.
“Don’t forget that he still has a contract here with us and we want to keep him and do it in a more long term but at the moment he is with us and I think he should be really proud of where he is as well.”
Arsenal do have an option on Aubameyang’s contract to extend to 2022 but it is a costly clause which would see his wages rise significantly and also get him a huge multi-million bonus with the package worth up to £20m.
But Arteta also stressed the importance of winning the trophy for Arsenal to instil a new mentality of success within the squad.
Arteta said: “It generates the trust when you are winning titles. It generates moments when together you go through good emotions and it brings everybody together.
“There’s lots of things about winning and winning a trophy which is so positive for any group and that makes it even more important. We have a great opportunity tomorrow so let’s go for it.”
Arsenal have won the trophy a record 13 times, Arteta has lifted it twice himself and says it will be one of the proudest moments of his career.
Arteta added: “We are very excited, it’s a special day in this country and in this competition and we are linked as a club by how many times we have won it.
“We want to do it again, it would be so special to do it in my first season in charge and, again, the boys are really excited and looking forward to the game tomorrow.”