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.
Photo by RonMac on Flickr
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.
Arsène Wenger is said to be monitoring Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri ahead of a summer bid for FC Basel’s talented midfielder.
Wenger is known to have sent Arsenal representatives to monitor Shaqiri and is said to be very impressed by highly favourable reports.
Shaqiri has become an integral part of the Basel team in the last two seasons, featuring heavily as Basel won back to back league titles and competed in the Champions League. The 20-year-old also impressed hugely during the European Under-21 Championships in the summer, and followed this up with a man-of-the-match performance (in which he scored a hat-trick) against Bulgaria in Switzerland’s Euro 2012 qualifier in September. He also scored against England in late 2010.
Despite all the success on the pitch, Shaqiri’s accolade as one of Europe’s future stars remains in doubt. The Albania-born midfielder has been on the radar of several top European clubs since his early teens, but a lack of consistency and serious questions related to poor attitude in the past mean that he is yet to negotiate a big-money move to another club.
Manchester City, Spurs, AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid are all said to be watching very closely, but it remains to be seen if any of these clubs will make bids in January or in the summer. I would suggest that Wenger seriously considers bringing the winger, who is rated somewhere in the region of £15million, to North-London at the end of the season. We are likely to lose Andrei Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky within the next year and it is always useful to have another strong attacking midfielder on the books. His recent performances in the Champions League and at international level suggest that he has reached some level of maturity; His poor attitude and inconsistency seem to be a thing of the past.
Theo Walcott’s current Arsenal contract expires in 2013, but the winger has finally said that he plans to sit down and negotiate a new deal.
Arsène Wenger is desperate to avoid a repeat of the situation which saw Samir Nasri move to Manchester City and, with Robin van Persie stalling his contract negotiations, Walcott’s comments will come as a huge relief.
It has perviously been suggested that Theo may use his current contract situation to force a move to Italian giants Juventus, but these rumours were quickly dismissed by his agent.
Speaking to The People, Walcott also said that the Gunners are looking to move past their poor start to the Premier League campaign, insisting that the mood within the Arsenal camp remains positive following our 1-0 win over Marseille in mid-week:
“I will listen to what Arsenal have to say.
“Hopefully we will sit down with the club soon and talk things over.
“The team morale at Arsenal is great – the best it’s ever been.
“To be honest, we have forgotten about the first few games. There is no point in dwelling on it.
“All we can do now is look at what is coming up. And it is looking very positive at the moment. Everyone needs to be alive at what is going on during the game.
“In the Champions League, you want to at least draw the away games, but we managed to sneak it in the end.
“We were very solid at the back and we need to do that more often – dig deep and win games 1-0. It was nice to see that in Marseille.
“Now, hopefully, we can start climbing the Premier League.
“This can still be a big season for us, although we are not looking too far ahead.”
Theo and Andrei Arshavin will probably extend their deals before the new-year, but don’t expect to hear any news on Robin van Persie’s contract until the summer. Thomas Vermaelen signed a new long-term contract last week, as well as two of our young emerging talens (Connor Henderson and Sanchez Watt), but Wenger faces a long wait for RvP’s decision.
According to numerous sources in Italy, Arsenal and Juventus are considering an astonishing player-exchange deal in which Theo Walcott would move to Turin, with Serbian midfielder Milos Krasic replacing him in North London.
The Bianconeri have been monitoring Walcott for some time, believing that he could cause significant problems for rival Italian defences with his fantastic pace. Meanwhile Krasic, who Arsenal tried to sign in 2010, has apparently been deemed surplus to requirements by Juve boss Antonio Conte. A deal would therefore be advantageous for both parties.
Walcott, whose contract expires in 2013, has further delayed signing a contract extension and Wenger may let him leave the club in January to avoid losing him on a free next year. Wenger needs to strengthen our central midfield in January, so swapping Theo for a talented central midfielder like Krasic would make a lot of sense. Juventus have made no effort to hide their interest in the former Southampton player, and even sent the clubs top scout to monitor his progress in England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
Krasic played a hugely important role in the Juventus team last season following his €15 million from CSKA last year. However, the 26-year-old, who has been capped 43 times by his country, has fallen out of favour with Conte and has been linked with a move away from Italy to the Premier League. He has been linked to both Manchester sides, but I am hoping that Wenger may be able to convince him that he belongs at the Emirates.
Would we really miss Walcott that much? We have experience in Andrei Arshavin and Gervinho, and youth in Ryo Miyahci and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – all of whom are fighting for a place on the wings in Wenger’s 4-3-3 formation. AOC has been absolutely fantastic in recent weeks and could easily step-up to replace Theo altogether if it was required. On top of that, Krasic is a fantastic player that I would love to see at the Emirates. Is this deal as unlikely as it seems?
Please post your thoughts in the comments section below. I would be interested to see what fellow Arsenal fans think of this as a deal.
Chilean defensive midfielder Arturo Vidal has made it clear that he would only leave his current club Bayern Leverkusen if a deal can be struck that satisfies all parties involved; he is happy to remain in Germany if the club choose not to sell him this summer.
“I do not have any problem playing on for Bayern Leverkusen I am able to see out my current contract and play UEFA Champions League football with Bayer in the new season.
“However, should any move take place I would only do it if every party involved would be able to leave the negotiating table with a smile on their face.
“I am very thankful that Bayer Leverkusen handed me the chance to make a career in Europe, this is why I am longing for a perfect solution.”
Arsène Wenger has apparently been chasing the 24-year-old for several weeks, but Goal.com Italy has revealed that Juventus are now the club that are closest to tying up a deal. Bayern Munich are also thought to have tabled an offer, but Leverkusen are refusing to sell to a rival Bundesliga team. Fernando Felicevich, Vidal’s agent, is expected to hold talks with Juventus officials in Milan. Following the elimination of Chile from the Copa America, it is thought that a deal could be finalised this week.
AC Milan, Inter and Napoli are all also thought to be interested in acquiring Vidal’s services, with Leverkusen demanding somewhere in the region of £13-15 million. His contract expires next summer and the club would prefer to cash-in and find a replacement now rather than lose him on a free this time next year.
I am almost 100% sure that we will not be seeing Vidal at the Emirates next season. The deal with Juve looks close to being finalised and Wenger has almost certainly lost out. Yes, Denilson has left and we are now in need of a new defensive midfielder, but Vidal will probably not be the player that arrives to fill that gap.
Diego Ribas da Cunha
The German media are reporting that Arsenal are the club that are most likely to sign Brazilian attacking midfielder Diego. Diego had shown promise during 3 seasons at Werder Bremen (scoring 20 goals during the 2008/9 season), but has since fallen off the radar of the top European clubs after poor seasons at Juventus and current club Wolfsburg. Last season he was repeatedly fined by Wolfsburg for poor behaviour and has since made it clear that he wants to leave the Bundesliga this summer.
In February, Diego won a penalty which he then took (instead of allowing the teams designated penalty-taker Patrick Helmes to take it) and hit the crossbar. Wolfsburg lost the match by one goal and a furious manager fined him £86,000. He was also dropped from the first team for a few matches. In one of the final games of the season, Diego then stormed out of the hotel where the team was staying when told that he would start on the bench. He was subsequently fined around £350,000 for his actions.
It is known that Liverpool were interested in signing Diego to replace Xabi Alonso 2 years ago, but a transfer never materialised. Following the increased speculation that a move to either Arsenal or Spurs could be imminent he released the following statement:
“I prefer not to mention the names of the clubs out of respect for the managers and the owners but its true that there is contact with some clubs in England.
“Of course I will give these offers special attention because it’s my dream to play in the Premier League.”
Whether I would like to see Diego at Arsenal is a different issue. Yes, he does have a good track-record and, at 26, provides a bit more experience than some of Wenger’s singings over the past few years. However, I would suggest that based on his behaviour at Wolfsburg, Wenger should be wary of spending a large sum of money on a player who may have bad attitude. £18-20 million for a player who doesn’t listen to instructions and has a tantrum every time he is substituted or starts on the bench is hardly ideal. If we consider that we have also already signed Gervinho, this transfer looks increasingly unlikely.
Likeliness rating: 1/5
Mirko Vucinic’s agent, Alessandro Lucci, has confirmed that several English clubs have shown an interest in the Roma striker and that his future in Rome is currently in the balance. It was suggested last week that Roma would offer Vucinic as part of a player-exchange deal for Gaël Clichy, but it is now looking increasingly likely that he will move to Juventus. Blackburn had been linked with a potential move for the Montenegro international, but Lucci (speaking to Sky Italia) ruled out a move to Ewood Park:
“It’s not news that two English clubs are interested in Vucinic, but it must firstly be understood whether the relationship with Roma is definitely over. Only in that case will the alternatives be taken into consideration.
“For the moment we are only in the first phase. It’s not the right moment to talk about Vucinic and other clubs.
“He feels good in Rome, he has friends and he has his home and the will to stay, but in football it happens that something can break.
“It’s true I met Juventus, but we spoke about many players. They got information, but for this to become a negotiation there is a lot to do.
“Blackburn talk is just a rumour. It is a respectable club but I think Mirko deserves a more prestigious club.”
Vucinic has scored 63 goals in 200 appearances for Roma; not the worst goals/game ratio, but not exactly the best either. Whether he is “Arsenal material” remains to be seen. We have been linked with a ridiculous number of strikers in recent weeks, and I believe that we are much closer to agreeing a deal for Gervinho, although I wouldn’t completely rule out a potential move if Wenger fails in his other targets.