28 days ago he broke Arsenal hearts across the globe with his statement that he would not be signing a new deal with the club and while he didn’t ask to leave (transfer requests cost money you know as a player loses his loyalty bonus) he put himself in a position where he hoped the club would be forced to sell. It was a hammer blow to Arsenal fans who had come to believe that this captain was different. An Arsenal fan as a boy, for Robin it wasn’t about the money we claimed. We truly believed it as well. Well. Many of us did. His family had declared their love for both London and Arsenal, all signs before the summer seemed to point to him wanting to stay.
Then that statement happened.
Since then Arsenal have played hard ball. If reports are to be believed we’ve slapped a price tag on him that no reasonable club would pay for an injury-prone 29 year old with one year left on his contract. Van Persie spoke of his disagreement with where the club was heading, despite Arsenal signing Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud before the rest of the footballing world had even realised the transfer window was upon us, and so the media cicus began.
Wanted by Juventus, Manchester City and Manchester United and the papers claiming he wanted £200,000 per week, a price that Arsenal certainly weren’t going to offer him and a wage that even Manchester City had to have a long think about. Juventus was claimed to be his preferred destination and while the Mirror in the UK claimed that the Italians were prepared to stump up £70m (transfer fee plus wages) for the Dutchman, the Italian press claimed this simply wasn’t feasible for the Old Lady.
Then we have another story, about how van Persie is getting cold feet about a move to Juventus after their coach was facing a ban for match-fixing. It comes from the Mirror once again who don’t so much seem to have an inside track on this story as a healthy imagination. Based on a Tweet from Carl Thomas who is Kees Vos’s assistant (Vos is van Persie’s agent) which described the situation as “hardly the advert” likely to convince RvP to move to Italy.
My first thought after I read the headline was not, surprisingly, “I wonder if this is true”, but rather, are we witnessing the start of an RvP u-turn? It might seem the stuff of fantasy, but as we know, van Persie’s father has already claimed that his son would not move to another English side and the Italian giants are being reported as ‘reluctant’ when it comes to stumping up the cash that RvP wants. Is this the start of a face-saving gesture?
Of course, should van Persie decide to stay (rather than Arsenal forcing him to) he can always claim his ambitions are now being met by the club should we finalise the transfer of Cazorla on top of Giroud and Podolski and push ahead with the loan seal for Sahin. There are those online who want to see his statement as being a tool designed to force the board in to action but I don’t believe that for a minute. I think that Robin, on the back of one record-breaking season, saw the grass on the other side of the fence and fancied getting his hands on some of it. I think he overestimated the strength of his negotiating position given his injury history and age.
The longer this rumbles on the more likely it is that he will start the season with Arsenal. I still couldn’t say one way of the other if he will end it with us but what I do know is that in a world where players get what they want more often than not, Robin seems to be having a tough time getting his.------------
If you’ve been having problems accessing this site on your work computer using the URLS globalgooners.com and gossip.globalgooners.com should sort that problem for you.
Get your free LadyArse app here for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone [iPhone coming soon]
Get your free Arsenal wallpaper, Facebook covers and Twitter headers here