fast little loans
Manchester City and Juventus lead the chase for Robin van Persie after the Arsenal striker admitted he would not be signing a contract extension to stay at the Emirates Stadium, claiming the club didn't match his ambition.
Juventus have already had an £8m offer turned down for the 28-year-old while City manager Roberto Mancini has repeatedly expressed his desire to sign the forward.
City are believed to be prepared to pay around £20m for the Dutch forward, but may have to offload at least two of their current strikers to hasten a deal.
The outburst from Van Persie, delivered on his own website, criticised manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis as well as the direction Arsenal, who have not won a domestic trophy since 2005, are taking.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“I had a meeting with the boss and Mr Gazidis. 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.
“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 disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.
“I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.
“The fans have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision.
“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,” he added.
The move could shatter Arsenal hopes just six weeks before the start of the new season.
Van Persie still has 12 months remaining on his contract at the Emirates and could see that period out before leaving for nothing next summer.
The club had put together a package believed to be worth around £130,000 a week to persuade the forward to stay, a deal that would have made him the highest paid player in Arsenal's history.
There was also a feeling that early summer moves for Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski should have given an indication that ambition still remained inside the Emirates boardroom.
However Van Persie blew that belief away with his statement.
Wenger now faces one of the greatest challenges of his 16 years in charge at Arsenal.
Manchester City, who signed Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri last summer, have the financial might to blow Arsenal out of the water with a potential salary package of around £250,000 a week.
Mancini has been told that with six well-paid strikers on the club's books - Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko, as well as the returning loan duo of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz - he must offload players as well as sign them this summer.
However that is unlikely to diminish his desire to bring Van Persie to the Etihad Stadium as he prepares to improve his Premier League-winning side to challenge for the Champions League this time around. – Belfast Telegraph