Arsenal Transfer News: Losing Robin Van Persie Would Be Huge Setback for Gunners
Not again. Those were probably the first two words that popped into the head of Arsenal fans when they learned Robin van Persie has begun drawing interest from Manchester City as the Dutchman prepares to head off for international duty.
The champions are preparing a massive bid for the Premier League's leading goal scorer, according to John Cross of Mirror Football. The report states it would be a £25 million move with weekly wages of £250,000, an amount the Gunners simply can't match.
Arsenal lost several key pieces last offseason and are hoping to avoid a similar fate this summer. The most notable names that left Emirates were Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who bolted for Manchester City, leaving the Gunners without two key pieces of their midfield.
Without those two stars, Arsenal got off to a slow start to the season, and there were even calls for Arsene Wenger to lose his job as manager. But the team was ultimately able to turn things around after some fresh faces settled into the lineup.
The biggest reason the Gunners were still able to secure a Champions League spot was van Persie. There were periods of time throughout the season when he put the team on his back and earned points all by himself.
He finished the campaign with 30 goals and nine assists, officially asserting himself as one of the world's top strikers after years of flashing terrific potential. By the time he finally cooled off near season's end, the other Gunners were playing well enough to help them finish in the top three.
Losing him now would be another major setback for the Gunners, just when it looked like they had overcome last year's forgettable transfer window. So Wenger must do everything within his power to ensure van Persie stays put.
Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail reports the two sides will have talks about the superstar's future on Wednesday before he starts preparing for Euro 2012. He says the Gunners are prepared to offer van Persie £130,000 of weekly wages.
Where will van Persie play next season?
While that's well below what Manchester City or another powerhouse team would be able to offer, van Persie has seemed comfortable with Arsenal, and money won't be the only factor involved when he makes a decision.
That said, van Persie is coming off the best season of his career, and this may be his last chance to land a huge deal, because he'll be exiting his prime by the time a new deal will come to a close.
The entire situation will lead to some tense moments for Arsenal while the club waits to hear a final decision. Losing another key player to an EPL contender will once again put the Gunners behind the eight-ball heading into next season.
They can't afford to keep losing productive players and expect to remain in contention. Sooner or later, it's going to catch up with them.
Watching van Persie walk out the door would put a dampener on an otherwise terrific season. Of course, the Gunners will try everything to keep him, but it won't be easy.
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