Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Must Soften Stance and Sell Robin van Persie

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Robin van Persie of Arsenal on the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Arsenal and AC Milan at Emirates Stadium on March 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It doesn't seem as though superstar Dutch forward Robin van Persie has any desire to continue playing for Arsenal, but the Gunners seem steadfast in their desire to keep him. As tough of a pill as it may be to swallow, however, Arsenal must do the right thing and sell RVP to the highest bidder.

According to John Cross of Mirror Football, the Gunners are not "in the remotest bit" interested in transferring Van Persie elsewhere. Although Arsenal has denied receiving or turning down any offers for Van Persie, Juventus representatives claim that the Gunners rejected an £8 million bid for the offensive star. Cross is reporting that Juventus might be willing to offer as much as £15 million for RVP, though.

It's difficult to say which side is being honest, but Juventus doesn't really have reason to lie in this instance, while Arsenal obviously does. I believe that the Gunners want to keep Van Persie if at all possible, so they wouldn't want word to leak that they might be looking to move him. Juventus, on the other hand, would have nothing to lose by making the dealings public.

If Arsenal truly isn't entertaining any offers, however, then it has to change that immediately. Although Van Persie has another year remaining on his contract, the Gunners shouldn't force him to stay if he doesn't want to be there. He obviously has a contractual obligation to be at Arsenal, but it would be best for the Gunners to move on and bring in additional players who desire to play at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have done a nice job of bringing in outside talent so far this offseason in the form of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, so it seems like they have been posturing for Van Persie's inevitably departure. Perhaps the plan is to ride things out this season until his contract expires, but it would be silly to get nothing in return for him.

Perhaps Arsenal hasn't been impressed with the monetary offerings it has received so far, but there will come a point late in the transfer window when a team is desperate to make a big splash. At that point, the Gunners figure to rake in some very lucrative offers. Things haven't gone according to plan when it comes to Van Persie's tenure at Arsenal, but the club has to be smart and cut its losses while it still can.

Arsenal has plenty of offensive depth now, and while there is no doubt that the team is better with Van Persie in the fold, it would be counterproductive to have a player whose heart isn't completely into it. The fact that RVP has been unwilling to agree to the Gunners' generous contract offers thus far just proves that he has no intention of hanging around over the long haul.

The Gunners are very close to contending for a championship in the EPL, and although it may seem like selling Van Persie would be a big step in the wrong direction, Arsenal has enough depth to make up for it. The combination of Podolski and Giroud is extremely promising and should keep opposing teams on their heels as much as RVP does.

Arsenal very well may be posturing right now in a last-ditch effort to convince Van Persie to stay, but if Van Persie doesn't show signs of commitment soon, then the Gunners must do the smart thing and send him elsewhere.


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