With the summer transfer window in full swing, Football Talk will be keeping you up-to-date with all the latest transfer news throughout the summer. Today, interesting news on Robin van Persie’s shock move to Man Utd.
The Dutchman announced his decision not to sign a new contract at the Emirates last month following talks with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis at the end of last season.
The player and manager apparently disagreed on the ambition and direction of the club and van Persie was quickly linked with a move to Man Utd, Man City and Juventus.
A report by BBC journalist David Ornstein claims that Arsenal were preparing a deal to make him the clubs highest paid player in their history but never actually sat down and made him the offer.
While many Arsenal fans are vilifying the 29-year-old as a ‘judas’ for moving to Manchester United after they agreed a £24m deal with the Gunners on Wednesday evening, Ornstein suggests that it was in fact Wengers decision to let the striker leave.
He claims that van Persie was encouraged by the signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla and was all-but willing to stay at Arsenal, and was even open to the idea of opening contract extension talks with the club.
However, Wenger is believed to have taken the player aside before the Cologne game last weekend and told him he was no longer in his plans and he would be sold this summer if a suitable offer came in. No offer of a new contract was made and Wenger made no last ditch attempt to try and persuade his captain his future was at the Emirates.
Instead, he instructed Gazidis to open formal negotiations with United chief exec David Gill. The two agreed a fee of £22.5m on Tuesday but Wenger vetoed it, demanding £25m. Fergie then made a personal call to Wenger on Wednesday and the two managers agreed on £22.5m up front with an extra £1.5m if United win either the Premier League or Champions League in the next four years.
If the BBC report is accurate, what does this tell us? Rarely has Wenger given up on keeping his star player so easily. If in fact RVP was willing to stay at Arsenal and could have even been persuaded to sign a new contract, why on earth would Arsene not take advantage of that situation? It sounds like Wenger made the decision to sell and made no real attempt to keep van Persie. But why?
Perhaps van Persie’s statement hurt more than we thought and Wenger felt he had betrayed his trust beyond repair? Perhaps Wenger thinks £24m for a 29-year-old with a poor injury record is too good a deal to refuse? Maybe he feels his new look attack of Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla no longer requires the talents of RVP?
Of course the BBC report goes against everything Wenger said yesterday, when he claimed he had no option but to sell RVP as he only had one year on his contract remaining. But how could he sign an extension if he wasn’t even offered a contract?!
What do you think? Would Wenger really have sold RVP even though he was open to staying? If so, why? Get involved in the comments section.
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