Arsenal will refuse to be held to ransom over Robin van Persie this summer and not allow him to leave the club at any price, reports Goal.com.
The future of the Gunners star striker never seems to be far away from the tabloids these days due to a number of factors – his contract expires in the summer of 2013, Arsenal aren’t guaranteed to qualify for next seasons Champions League, and his hot streak of form over the last 18-months have made him a target for Europe’s top clubs.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester City have all been linked with potential bids for the Dutchman this summer but Arsenal’s Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis has insisted Van Persie will see out the remainder of his contract at the Emirates even if he refuses to sign a new deal.
Arsene Wenger ended up selling Samir Nasri to Manchester City for £22m last summer because he only had one year remaining on his contract and the Gunners boss feared he could lose the French International for nothing the following year.
Although Wenger finds himself in a similar situation with Van Persie, he is in a much stronger bargaining position than he was with Nasri because his captain will be a month short of 30 when his contract expires in 2013, whereas Nasri is four years younger. At 30-years-old Europe’s heavyweight clubs will be reluctant to offer the Premier League’s current top goalscorer a long-term deal so taking a stance on Van Persie’s contract may be a gamble worth taking for the Arsenal hierarchy.
According to the Mirror, Wenger will offer the Gunners goal-machine a new improved contract within the next few weeks which is still unlikely to top the £100,000 a-week mark. However, Goal.com suggest Van Persie will hold off contract talks until the end of the season when he will make a decision on his future.
An Arsenal source told Goal.com of how the club’s chief executive has decided to act now and show a firm stance over the contract situation surrounding the Dutch International.
“The communication has come directly from Ivan Gazidis. He flatly refuses to sell him at any price. He has told Van Persie, ‘you are going nowhere and can see out your contract’.
“Arsenal are not stupid. If he sees out his contract he will be 30. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not going to recruit him at 30.
“Van Persie feels powerless and anxious. There is no way any club will pay £40m for him this summer, because of his age. This makes him a £20m player and Arsenal don’t need to sell him for that.”
While Van Persie may remain at the Emirates next season, Arsenal’s stance over his contract situation could prove to be counterproductive. It is very possible that the influential striker may become unhappy with the way the club has dealt with him, which in turn may lead to Van Persie not giving 100% week-in week-out.
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