Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has stunned the entire Gunners community by revealing that he won’t sign an extension with the club due to diverging views about future development.
Van Persie, 28, enjoyed the best season of his injury-plagued career last year and despite making it clear several times that he was desperate to win silverware, the team remained hopeful of retaining him because of loyalty reasons.
As recently as earlier this week, left-back Andre Santos hoped that the Dutchman would re-sign with the Gunners because of his love of being in his current surroundings.
However, it was expected that RvP would make his own announcement this midweek and the forward lived up to that expectation by announcing a decision that Arsenal fans certainly feared all along.
After eight years with the club, he is now seeking to follow into the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri by losing patience with Arsenal’s project, which has suffered seven consecutive years of trophy drought.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract [which currently runs through the end of next season]. This is an update for the fans about my current situation,” van Persie’s revelation on his personal website was quoted by Soccernet.
Explaining the delay in his decision, the forward 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.
“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.”
Van Persie also confirmed that disagreements with the club stemmed from football reasons and any financial incentives on table for him were not even explored in detail.
“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,” he concluded.
Arsenal’s current attack is well-staffed, with the likes of Gervinho, Theo Walcott, and Chu-Young Park supporting new signings Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Despite being linked with moves away from the Emirates, Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner also remain on the Gunners’ books as of now.
It must be noted that any decision regarding van Persie’s transfer status was left up to the player, with chairman Peter Hill-Wood recently confirming that the club will never voluntarily put their skipper up for sale.