The ex-Gunners star admits there’s a very real threat that a striker yet to commit to a new contract in north London may be enticed to Old Trafford.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is”what Manchester United are missing”, admits Paul Merson, with there a possibility that Arsenal could have another Robin van Persie in their hands.

Back in 2012, the Gunners saw their most dependable and productive attacking weapon commerce life in north London for that from the northwest.

Van Persie made to go chasing titles using a United side that remained a force to be reckoned with at the point under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Red Devils no more enjoy that standing, but they are rebuilding under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are among those to have been connected with Aubameyang as he stalls on signing a new deal at Arsenal.

Merson fears the Gabonese could go the same way as Van Persie, together with the former Gunners star telling Sky Sports: “Aubameyang is what Manchester United are missing. He’s a goalscorer and goalscorers are priceless.

“If you look at United and the way they played against Manchester City a few weeks back, I thought they were very, very good. You looked at them and thought they’ve got a chance, particularly if they could also find a few more players, especially a creative midfielder.

“You could not help but be impressed with their performance and when they were to sign Aubameyang and they also got somebody like a Jack Grealish, are they large players? They would be a significant force, in my opinion.

“They’re crying out for somebody who will score them 20 to 25 goals, and that is what Aubameyang can deliver. He gets you 25 goals without even breaking sweat. Insert a Grealish if they could get him and then you have got Bruno Fernandes as well playing behind a striker, Manchester United will be a significant force.

“I don’t think you can state Aubameyang would be heading for ambition if he went to Manchester United though. He would be going for the cash because he is nearly 31 and this would probably be his final move.

“At the present time, you can not say you’re going to go to Manchester United and receive guaranteed trophies. You won’t have the ability to guarantee United winning anything in another two or three seasons. They’re getting better but it is not aspirations, it is the money.”

Merson added to the similarities between Aubameyang’s situation and that of a prior deal done with United: “The Arsenal fans will not need to find another top striker leave for Old Trafford, that is for sure, but the Robin van Persie situation was somewhat different.

“At that moment, it was Arsenal vs Manchester United, they were both the large teams in England and for Arsenal, it was like promoting United the decoration.

“This is somewhat different because you have got to look at where Arsenal are in the present time. They are ninth and should Aubameyang leaves, are they going to finish lower than ninth next year? No way.

“For me, there is a great deal of weighing up that has to be done. I understand the natural response is to think Arsenal will not have the ability to replace him and his goals and they have to do everything they can to keep him, even if it’s giving him #300,000 per week, but you can not just look at next year. You’ve got to consider the all-round picture.

“I am not saying Aubameyang isn’t a top-drawer participant, he is, but if you’re Arsenal and you keep him are you really going to win the Premier League? No. The Gunners have a very major decision coming up.”