Arsene Wenger Wants Robin van Persie Ultimatum
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he wants the future of star striker Robin van Persie to be resolved by the start of the Premier League season on 18 April, with the Frenchman also admitting he would love to see him stay at the club.
The 28-year-old Dutch forward has been at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war between Arsenal and several potential suitors after he revealed that he would not be extending his current contract at the London club due to a disagreement over their plans for the future.
Van Persie’s comments sparked increased interest from Italian champions Juventus and rival Premier League sides Manchester City and Manchester United, the latter of whom are thought to have had a £10 million bid for the player turned down by Arsenal, who value him at double that price.
While it remains unclear whether the club will indeed sell the forward or force him to see out the final year of his contract, what is for certain is that Wenger wishes to resolve the situation before Arsenal’s first game of the season and avoid the unsettled start to the campaign they had last year.
The Gunners endured an abysmal start to the 2011/2012 Premier League season after the last minute departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas – culminating in an 8-2 hammering at the hands of Manchester United – and didn’t find a replacement for either player until transfer deadline day.
With new signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski already in the bag, it looks as though this season Wenger has not only conducted the majority of his transfer business well in advance, but also pre-empted the departure of Van Persie so as not to be held to ransom by the player’s demands.