Byline: MATT LAW
ARSENAL'S hopes of keeping Robin van Persie could rest with London rivals Tottenham and hated former striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
Arsenal officials fear Van Persie has already made up his mind to quit the Emirates after failing to sign a new contract and making it clear he wants to win trophies.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is keen to capitalise on the stand-off and is planning to launch a EUR25million bid for Van Persie, but has been told he must offload at least one big earner first.
And that is where Tottenham and Adebayor, who spent last season on loan at White Hart Lane, come in.
Andre Villas-Boas is set to be named the new Spurs boss this week, just pipping former France boss Laurent Blanc to the post, and has given his blessing for the club to open negotiations over a permanent deal.
Adebayor earns EUR210,000-a-week at City and getting rid of him would allow them to push ahead with an offer for Van Persie that would include a four-year contract worth a staggering EUR250,000-a-week.
Tottenham cannot afford to pay Adebayor's wages, so they are trying to agree a deal that would see them sign the Togo striker on a free, pay a percentage of the final two years of his City contract in a lump sum and then put him in line with the club's other top earners.
City are still holding out for at least a minimal fee for Adebayor, but realise by getting him off the books they can save around EUR20m in wages. Despite Mancini's frustration, City will try to wait until either Adebayor or Edin Dzeko, who saw a move to Bayern Munich falter in recent weeks, leave Eastlands before officially contacting Arsenal about Van Persie.
Adebayor scored 18 goals on loan at Spurs last season and is keen to return to White Hart Lane, rather than move abroad or go back to City. …