Arsenal are prepared to let Robin van Persie go to Juventus rather than sell him to another Premier League side.
The Dutch striker has returned from holiday and was on the Caribbean island of Aruba when a statement was released in his name by agent Kees Vos announced that he would not be seeking a new deal with the Gunners.
The Sunday Mirror reports that he will be holding talks with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis in an attempt to sort out the mess. However, The People claims that Arsene Wenger will let van Persie go to Serie A side Juventus for £15million rather than to Manchester City.
The paper adds that Arsenal will not be holding van Persie to the final year of his contract after he questioned the club’s ambition but that line is contested by the Mail on Sunday which claims that Arsenal are willing to hold him to his current deal rather than let the saga disrupt their pre-season preparations in the manner that the Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri affairs dragged on last summer. Wenger has previously said publicly he will allow that to happen his point presumably being that when van Persie’s current deal with Arsenal does expire then he will be pushing 30 (he turns 30 in August 2013) and would be unable to command the wages he is currently demanding.
The People’s claims come after recent reports of a £30million valuation of van Persie by Arsenal as well as reports that the Italian side will match any wage offer by Manchester City. That is said to be around £220,000 a week. The Mirror reports that City will also make an opening bid of no more than £15million.
There are also claims that van Persie’s international team-mate Nigel de Jong has been trying to persuade him to move to Manchester City while the Mirror claims Arsenal officials fear Real Madrid will enter the bidding. That sounds unlikely given the number of strikers in the Real squad and the difficulty the club is having shifting fringe members of its squad. Reports yesterday of a bid from Real’s rivals Barcelona appear to be wide of the mark. The striker is keen to join the Catalan side but Barca’s priorities this summer lie in defence rather than in attack and the club have spurned any advances from van Persie’s representatives.