LONDON – Disillusioned with Arsenal’s recent form and fearful of the club’s immediate future, Robin van Persie announced yesterday (this morning, Singapore time) he will not extend his contract that has just one year left to run with the Gunners.
“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,” the Dutch forward wrote on his website.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.”
Van Persie, who scored 37 goals in all competitions for Arsenal last season, said he held talks about his future with chief executive Ivan Gazidis and manager Arsene Wenger before the European Championship. Arsenal have not won any titles since the 2005 FA Cup and have not finished first in the league since 2004.
“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,” the 28-year-old said.
A number of the continent’s top teams are thought to be interested in signing van Persie, including English champions Manchester City and Italian champions Juventus.
Wenger must decide whether to cash in this summer on his captain and sole world-class player, or risk losing him for nothing when van Persie’s contract expires next season.
Arsenal have lost a string of