Arsenal are to hold make of break talks next week with captain Robin Van Persie, hopeful of changing his mind over committing his future at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy were stunned earlier this month when Van Persie posted a damning statement about the club’s ambition and transfer policies on his personal website and publicly confirmed for the first time that he would not sign an extension to his contract that expires next summer. The club knew that their PFA Player of the Year was obviously unsettled at Arsenal but the Dutch sensation had promised the board and the manager that he wouldn’t make any announcement about his future until he returned from the Euro 2012 Championships and spoke with them first. Instead Van Persie defied the club and the Gunners have been in crisis mode for the past week.
A meeting is scheduled between Wenger, Van Persie and the Arsenal board next week when the player is due to return to pre-season training and the London club have not yet given up on him not signing a contract extension. The Daily Mail assess the situation as being similar to the one at Manchester United two seasons ago when Wayne Rooney made a stunning U-Turn out of nowhere after previously being adamant that he would be leaving Old Trafford.
The newspaper suggest a “heart-to-heart” between Wenger and the 28-year-old will take place with the veteran Frenchman pulling out all the stops to convince him to change his mind. There are several members of the Gunners board who feel Wenger’s “mentor” figure to Van Persie could yet convince him to stay and that the striker’s controversial statement on his website was little more than a ploy from the mind of his agent Kees Vos to secure a better deal at the club during the rounds of negotiations.
Arsenal are believed to have offered Van Persie a three year deal worth £130,000-per-week – plus a £5million loyalty bonus but that is a lot less than the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid are prepared to offer.