In a statement on his personal website, Robin van Persie has confirmed that he will not be signing a contract extension with Arsenal. The early signing of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are apparently not enough to convince Robin that Arsenal can mount a credible title challenge; van Persie and Wenger have been unable to agree on how the club should move forward and our captain will probably leave North London within the next two months.
“This is an update for the fans about my current situation. I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and as agreed with Mr. Gazidis and Mr. Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment.
“As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the Boss and Mr. Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
“I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.
“I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC. Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch. I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last 8 years.
“As soon as Mr. Gazidis is back from his 2-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments.”
Robin van Persie
If, as is being reported, the club had no idea Robin was releasing a statement then I am hugely disappointed that a player I used to respect has gone about this in such a discourteous manner. Releasing this statement at this point was an extremely ill-advised move; his lawyers and agents should have advised him to hold off on any decisions until mid august. He should wait to see who else Arsenal bring in over the summer and how he feels after the team have got together for pre-season training. Instead, he has discredited himself with the Arsenal fans and, in my opinion, there is simply no turning back.
I don’t doubt that Robin will continue to assure us that he has made this decision for “footballing reasons”. However, I am also pretty confident that those footballing reasons come with a significantly improved contract. How much any financial benefits will have influenced his decision only he will know. I just hope that he is leaving Arsenal for the right reasons.
Surely the one thing that both Wenger and Van Persie have agreed on is that the club cannot move forward if our best players keep leaving. By deciding not to extend his contract, Robin has just made everything whole lot worse.
For those of you who are intent on blaming Wenger, I would argue that it is not a question of Wenger letting these players leave. Players and agents have too much power and able to manipulate these situations very easily. Contracts and loyalty mean very little nowadays.
This news has spawned a series of articles that suggest that Van Persie could be on his way to be Spurs. May I be the first to say that this is a load of shit. Back in the real world, the most likely destinations are Real Madrid or Juventus.