Wenger hopes to keep Van Persie
Arsene Wenger has spoken out regarding the Robin Van Persie transfer saga and insists that his intentions are to keep the player at the Emirates Stadium next season.
Van Persie’s contract has just one year left to run and the Dutchman has refused to sign an extension, which could mean he could leave the club without any transfer fee.
Although Wenger wants to keep his star striker, he has also called for the situation to be resolved before the start of the season on August 18th.
“He has one year left and is in demand but our desire is to keep him,” said the Gunners manager.
“However, we will do what is in the best interests of the club. If you have a decoder in your head you can decode that.”
Arsenal have already rejected offers from Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus, and it is now rumored that they are in negotiations to sign Malaga forward Santi Cazorla and this has fueled speculation that Van Persie is edging closer to the exit door.
Van Persie was in magnificent form last season hitting 37 goals, of which 30 were in the Premier League; he also won both the PFA and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards.
Despite seemingly enjoying his football, Van Persie rejected the opportunity to extend his contract and hit out at the clubs ambition and failure to keep up with the likes of cash rich Manchester City. Wenger responded to this criticism whilst speaking on Arsenal’s pre-season tour in Malaysia by saying: “We are very, very ambitious. You know that. Not only very ambitious, but also very proud of the way we run our club.”
“Van Persie is a world-class striker and I am a big supporter of him. I have supported him through his whole career.”
Wenger is now trying to avoid a debacle like last season where he lost both Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas late in the transfer window. This had a terrible affect on his side early on in the season and it took them around 10 games before they started to turn things around.
“The official transfer deadline is 31st August but then we can create an internal deadline,” he stated. When he was asked if this was before the start of the season he replied: “Of course. I believe the transfer market should stop before the season starts anyway.”
With Wenger stating that he is looking to keep Van Persie, the ball is very much in the Dutchman’s court once again. Arsene will hope that by opting to go down the personal route of mentioning his support of Van Persie during difficult periods of his career, Arsenal’s top scorer will make a Wayne Rooney type U-Turn and commit his future to the club that introduced him to the English Premier League.
Alex Smith, football correspondent