“We made a deal with Arsenal and he won’t talk to the press,” a spokesman for the Dutch Football Association, the KNVB, said.
The gap order, imposed by Arsenal came after Arsenal failed to get van Persie to agree to a new contract during their meeting on Wednesday. The Arsenal captain has only a year left on his current deal and on Wednesday Arsenal’s chief executive van Gazidis and Arsène Wenger met with RVP and made him an offer that would make him Arsenal’s highest paid player in its history. The Gunners offer was reported to be around £130,000-per-week plus a £5million signing-on fee.
The best case scenario for Wenger and Gazidis was that van Persie would be happy with the recent signing of Lukas Podolski would show the club’s ambition and that the Arsenal captain would agree to a new deal before he left for the summer to play in the Euros.
That did not happen.
What appears to have happened is that van Persie, who hasn’t won anything with Arsenal since 2005, said that he wants to win trophies and that he is not sure if he can do that at Arsenal. He saw Nasri and Clichy leave in the summer and pick up Premier League title medals and van Persie wants to end his career with more than two winners medals in his trophy case.
And that is a tough one for Arsenal to overcome. Financially the club is happy making the Champions League every year. Winning a trophy is not a financial necessity.
Arsenal finished 19 points behind Man City this season, and RVP doesn’t appear to believe that just signing Podolski is enough to cut that gap. He wants to see more quality signings this summer before he agrees to stay at the Emirates.
I wrote early this week that the Arsenal offer to van Persie would not be enough, especially when his agents know that Juventus will play him £180,000-a-week while Man City are reported willing to go to £220,000. This is van Persie’s last big contract and £50,000 to £1000,000 more in wages over three or four is a lot to turn down. That is generational wealth.
So it is looking like deja vu for Arsenal fans, who went through this scenario with Nasri last summer. Would the Arsenal board really let van Persie leave on a Bosman in twelve months instead of selling him in August for £25m? They were not willing to do that last season, and I don’t see what has changed in the last 12 months.
And if van Persie does leave in the summer, making it two years in a row that a big name has been sold, what does that about Arsenal and its ambition? What sort of message does it send to the likes of Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere whose contracts are coming up soon?
What do you think will happen with van Persie? Will he sign a new deal with Arsenal or will they sell him this summer?