The hype surrounding leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his offered contract extension is intensifying.

Whether that is because we are worried that he will leave us in the lurch and bereft of a 20-goal-a-season striker – or because we have no football to speak of and we are bored – or perhaps a combination of both is questionable.

But regardless, we face the very real possibility of losing Auba to a top European club – if we cannot offer him what a player of his calibre deserves.

European football is chief among the demands that Auba and his negotiating party will want – as well as the money he would surely command at the likes of Barca, Real Madrid and PSG.

Still, we do have a chance of retaining his excellent services – but the latest rumour is circulating around a potential swap deal – and at least some of the story does have some gravitas.

There is smoke surrounding a swap deal involving Mauro Icardi and Auba – with Icardi being especially keen on a move away from his current club Inter Milan.

The Argentinean has been a revelation at the San Siro, scoring goals for fun – but his relationship with the fans has turned sour and this season that has led to a loan move to PSG – where he has continued to plunder goals.

A swap would suit Icardi – who still has plenty to offer and is – along with Auba – a certified goal scorer.

The only question surrounds the wants of Aubameyang.

It is clear the Gabon striker is happy at The Emirates, but this will be his last big chance to negotiate exactly what he wants. He could play anywhere and be paid untold riches – so does he choose guaranteed happiness – or does he gamble for more?

It is clear that Arsenal are not where he wants to be in terms of level – but does his team and Auba himself believe wholeheartedly in the project Arteta is building?

So much is undecided – so the speculation is understandable. We are anxious to keep hold of him – but until we know for sure what he will do – expect this rumour mill to turn ever faster.