In all sports, a player switching places is a big story. So when a star player and team captain appear to be on the move, it’s a huge story.
Playing for his club and country last season, Robin van Persie was named player of the year by Football Writers after scoring 41 goals in 53 games. Despite a second-rate performance in Euro 2012, in which he scored just one goal and the Netherlands was eliminated early, van Persie remains one of the best players—and hottest names—in the world of soccer.
The future of van Persie with Arsenal has been cloudy for quite a while now, but the Dutchman forced the club to make a move after deciding not to join Arsenal’s preseason tour to Asia.
In May, the Dutch striker met with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis to discuss the club’s future moving forward. It was clear that the three sides felt differently in regards to which direction they’re headed, fueling rumors that van Persie’s days with Arsenal are nearing an end.
Van Persie’s contract expires in 2013, and it’s been made public that he won’t sign a new deal with Arsenal and that he wishes to play elsewhere.
Wenger recently opted against selling the Dutch striker to rival Manchester United, so now, the picture slowly seems to be getting clearer.
Wenger is said to value van Persie at 25 million pounds—far more than United is willing to pay for the talented 28-year-old. If a transfer is unavoidable, Wenger would certainly prefer that van Persie would move abroad instead of heading to Old Trafford to join Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson and United.
For quite some time, Ferguson has remained very confident that van Persie will ultimately join United, but recent developments seem to be suggesting otherwise.
Now with one less potential landing spot for van Persie after United fell out of the running, it appears a new frontrunner may have emerged as the favorites to acquire him.
After moving Zlatan Ibrahimovich to Paris St. Germain, Italian club AC Milan has expressed major interest in the Dutch striker. Offloading Ibrahimovich has left Milan with about 31 million pounds to use as they please, and van Persie would certainly fit the club’s need for a new star player.
Not only would van Persie be a seamless fit with Milan, the move abroad would likely appeal to Wenger—and Arsenal—more than other rumored transfers within the premier league.
No definitive contact has been made between Milan and Arsenal, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on given the seemingly natural appeal to both sides.
If the talented Dutchman ends up with Milan, it would certainly become the biggest story in soccer, as a star called van Persie may be shooting across the sky from England to Italy.