LONDON: Robin Van Persie had promised that he would not think about his Arsenal future until after the Euro 2012 finals . . . and now he has kept his promise it adds up to bad news writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The club captain and top scorer will be out of contract at the end of next season. All this term uncertainty hovered in the background over whether the Dutchman would follow the example of previous skipper Cesc Fabregas and look to pastures new.
Van Persie, 28, has set out his intentions in an open letter to fans, stating: “I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.”
Van Persie says he has chosen not to extend his deal following talks with Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis over the club’s plans for the future.
He added: “I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and as agreed with Mr Gazidis and Mr Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment.
“As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the boss and Mr Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
“I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.
“Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”
Van Persie, who joined Arsenal from Feyenoord in 2004, added: “I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC.
“Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch. I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last eight years.
“As soon as Mr Gazidis is back from his two-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments.”
Van Persie ended last season as the Premier League’s top scorer with 30 goals, helping the Gunners to a third-placed finish while being intermittently linked with a possible move to new Premier League champions Manchester City.
The likelihood is that Arsenal will sell him this summer. Otherwise he will go free at the end of next season.
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