As transfer windows go, this one is looking like a bit of an odd-ball.
Business is getting done early, and—surprise, surprise—quietly.
First Arsenal snapped up Lukas Podolski without so much as a murmur. And then, what was expected to be the biggest transfer saga of the summer—can you Hazard a guess?—with every major club from this planet and several others involved, looks like it's over with barely a whimper. And finally, it appears as if Kagawa to United is a done deal too.
So now we trundle on to one that looks like it's going to cause us much heartache. I speak of the future of Robin van Persie, Arsenal's captain, talisman and the main reason behind why Gooners can afford to somewhat smile through summer.
As everyone knows, Robin is rated as one of the top strikers in the world today, and has a year left on his Arsenal contract. There is much uncertainty as regards where he will play his football next season. He and his agent, Kees Vos, have held initial discussions with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis, but those, apparently, have been fruitless.
Reports suggest that there is an offer of £130,000 per week on the table for the Dutchman, but the player himself is not as interested in his paycheck as he is in what Arsenal are doing to significantly strengthen their squad this summer.
Today, the club received a welcome boost from an unexpected source.
With Robin's wife, Bouchra, having expressed her love for London and her hope that the family extends their stay there, a few weeks ago, her mother-in-law decided to dive right in, too. Uh-oh. Cat-fight brewing?
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Robin's mother, Jose, is reported to have said:
Arsenal love him and that’s a great incentive to stay. Arsenal are a fantastic club. They have no debts and Robin is idolised there.
While it seems rather unlikely that our bristly skipper is truly a henpecked husband or a momma's boy, he did have this to say:
It’s because of my mother that I’m the man I am today. She always encouraged me to think for myself. It’s always important for me to get Mum’s opinion of my performance after a match and I make no excuses about being a mummy’s boy. The women in my life are very influential, even on the football pitch.
Make of that what you will, but one thing's for certain. This saga is set to rumble on through the Euros, well into July and maybe even August, and it looks as though we may be in for another Cesc/Nasri situation. Talk about once bitten, twice shy. Not.
All we can hope for in the mean time is that Robin has a bit of common sense, realizes what's good for him, and does exactly what the ladies tell him to do!