Monday, May 14, 2012

Van Persie sets date for crunch Arsenal contract talks

The Dutch striker will tell Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis at a meeting in London on Wednesday whether he wants to stay or leave the club this summer



EXCLUSIVEBy Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Robin van Persie will hold crunch contract talks with Arsenal on Wednesday, can reveal.

A pivotal meeting has been scheduled in London at a neutral location for Van Persie’s camp to begin face-to-face negotiations with senior club officials, including manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis. understands that Van Persie is expected to tell the club on Wednesday whether he wishes to stay at Emirates Stadium this summer. The meeting will not take place at the stadium or the club’s London Colney training base.

The Dutchman was non-committal about his future on Sunday afternoon after helping Arsenal finish third in the Premier League with a 3-2 win at West Brom. “We will have a chat next week and we will go from there,” he said.

It is believed that Arsenal will tell the club captain that they intend to hold him to a contract that runs until 2013 even if he refuses to sign the new deal that is set to be offered at the meeting.

However, Van Persie fears that this could kill his dream of a move to a European giant like Real Madrid or mega-rich new Premier League champions Manchester City.

Juventus and City have both publicly revealed their interest in the Premier League’s leading scorer this season, who ended the campaign with 30 goals and 37 in all competitions.

It is understood that a number of meetings assessing interest in Van Persie both at home and on the Continent have taken place in the last few months.

Nevertheless, Gazidis has calculated that Arsenal are in a far stronger bargaining position with Van Persie than they were with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer because of the Dutchman’s age.

He turns 29 in August and will be a month short of his 30th birthday when his contract ends, which is an age that sources close to Van Persie believe will put off Europe’s superpowers from offering him a long-term mega deal.

Because of his age, Arsenal regard Van Persie as a £20million asset and believe it is worth risking him running down his contract and selling him for nothing in a year’s time.



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