Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gunners Stunned as Robin Says No; Want-Away Van Persie Seeking Some Trophies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gunners Stunned as Robin Says No; Want-Away Van Persie Seeking Some Trophies

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim van Wijk

ARSENAL remain confident of Robin van Persie playing out the final season of his contract, despite the captain insisting he has to leave Emirates Stadium to win trophies.

Holland international Van Persie last night issued a carefully worded statement on his official website revealing he would not be penning a new deal with the Gunners.

The 28-year-old netted 37 goals in all competitions as Arsenal eventually secured third place, and manager Arsene Wenger recently declared the club must retain their talisman "at all costs".

However, despite meeting with Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the end of last season and the signings of German striker Lukas Podolski as well as France forward Olivier Giroud, Van Persie remains unconvinced he can fulfil his ambitions with the club he joined as raw talent from Feyenoord in May 2004.

Both Serie A winners Juventus and Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City are said to be ready to test Arsenal's resolve with a pounds 20millionplus bid.

However, the Gunners - who last summer saw both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri sold - could also look to hold Van Persie to the terms of his deal. A brief statement on the club's official website read: "We have to respect Robin's decision not to renew his contract. We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal's best interests in mind."

Van Persie, though, made it perfectly clear disagreements over the direction of the club means he does not want any part of Arsenal's long-term future.

In an open letter to fans on his website, he wrote: "I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.

"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 (fans) 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. "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 should move forward. …

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