According to the Daily Star, Arsene Wenger are set to sensationally resist all offers to take want-away Dutch striker Robin van Persie away from the club this summer, and make him stay at the Emirates until the January transfer window opens. This comes as there is supposedly a growing feeling at Arsenal that the club needs to make a stand after seeing several key players leave the club in the past few years against the will of the board and manager.
The Star are suggesting that a refusal to sell Van Persie now on his own terms, after he dug his feet in over his future and publically announced that he wouldn’t be signing a new contract would send a strong message to fans that it simply would not be tolerating like behaviour anymore.
Last night Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood stated that his club would not be bullied into letting Van Persie go for anything less than his value, and confirmed that he was confused as to why the skipper and Player of the Year would even want to leave:
“He is a world-class player and we don’t want to give him away. If he is determined to leave that is up to him, but giving him away is not on our agenda.
To be honest I do not understand him at all. I understood Cesc Fabregas wanting to go home to Barcelona last summer. I had sympathy with that. But I thought Robin was happy at Arsenal, especially after the season he had with us.”
This might well be simple bluster from Arsenal, trying to drive the price of their star asset up, as Arsenal fans will not need reminding that the club made similar noises last year when they insisted they would let neither Samir Nasri nor Cesc Fabregas leave the club.
The Star also confirm that Van Persie is attracting interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus, though they assert that none are so far willing to pay “anything near the £30m Arsenal are demanding for their skipper”. Additionally, the Star are suggesting that Man United’s bid was far underneath that valuation, at less than £10m.
Arsenal may believe that keeping Van Persie for another six months will drive his value up further with the January window traditionally bringing inflated transfer fees like Andy Carroll’s £35 million and Fernando Torres’ £50 million just over 18 months ago, or, as the Star suggest, they may believe that holding on to him for six months will be enough to convince Van Persie his future could lie at the Emirates after all.
But the trouble is that Van Persie could simply decide to walk away at the end of his current deal in a year, and begin talking to prospective suitors who would likely be more willing to offer a substantial contract if they didn’t have to pay an initial transfer fee to bring the player in.
Time will tell, but would Arsenal fans welcome this news after Van Persie’s very public announcement that he had no intention of extending his time at the club? Share your thoughts below.
Click next to reveal the five areas that we feel Arsene Wenger needs to develop in order to make Arsenal title contenders again next season.
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