Robin Van Persie Transfer: Arsenal Must Play Hard Ball with Manchester United

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 03:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal celebrates scoring the equalising goal with teaammate Theo Walcott (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on March 3, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Selling your best player to one of your rivals has never been a recipe for success, and it's why Arsenal must play serious hard ball with Manchester United as the Red Devils ramp up interest for Robin van Persie.

According to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have reopened talks over the Dutch striker, and a deal could be imminent. Thankfully, as Mokbel notes, Arsenal aren't lowering their demands.

Sources say that a deal to take the Arsenal captain, who got 30 goals to win the golden boot last season, to Old Trafford could be completed by the time the season kicks off this weekend.

It is understood the Arsenal manager repeated his insistence to Ferguson the 29-year-old would not be allowed to leave for United for a penny under £30 million—but the Gunners will listen to offers starting at £20 million with add ons.

Darn right, Wenger—you hold out for the big bucks. If RVP and Wayne Rooney are going to form the scariest goal-scoring duo in the Premier League at Old Trafford, it better cost Man U some serious cash.

Think about it for a moment—would the New York Yankees trade Derek Jeter to the Boston Red Sox? Would the Los Angeles Lakers have traded Magic Johnson to the Boston Celtics? Would the Green Bay Packers trade Aaron Rodgers to the Chicago Bears?

Of course not!

Now, it should be noted that while Arsenal and Manchester United are rivals, it's not quite as bitter a rivalry as the ones listed above. Gooners save their most pointed disdain for the Spuds, after all.

Still, selling RVP for anything less than huge dollars to the Red Devils would be, well, ungodly. It would make Manchester United unanimous favorites to win the league while severely crippling Arsenal's own trophy aspirations.

But as mob bosses and white-collar villains in movies like to point out, everyone has a price. And for £30 million, well, I suppose I could be convinced to say my goodbyes to RVP.

Truthfully, I'm much more at peace with the idea of losing van Persie than I was a few months ago. Lukas Podolski looks like a perfect fit at the club, Olivier Giroud will score goals and the addition of Santi Cazorla was a thrilling surprise and perfect addition.

Plus, I think Theo Walcott will continue to improve, Gervinho will be far better in year two at the Emirates and the return of Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby will make this Arsenal side very scary.

To be honest with you, I don't really understand why RVP even wants to leave at this point. The Gunners are deep, talented and should only get better. It's not crazy to think that, with RVP around, this team could win the league. 

But if he wants to go and Manchester United are willing to shell out £30 million for a 29-year-old with a history of injuries and some questionable loyalty, so be it. We'll gladly take Manchester's money.

Just don't expect a discount, Man U. We haven't forgotten that you are Devils, after all.


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