According to the latest reports, North London heavyweights Arsenal’s Dutch skipper Robin van Persie is keen to stay back in London for another season and the Gunners, supposedly, are preparing to alter their current wage structure before they prepare to hold contract talks with the player.
The Gunners, who sealed the season on Sunday by clinching a third place finish that gives them automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League group stage, are now ready to try and persuade the Dutchman to extend his stay at the club beyond his contract which expires in 2013.
However, it is strongly believed that a number of clubs are monitoring the situation between van Persie and Arsenal, with newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City sitting on pole position to lure away the 28-year-old former Feyenoord man. City have also set handsome financial terms if the player decides to move out of Emirates.
A previous Daily Mail report had said that van Persie, currently earning around $112,000 (£70,000) per week, will be offered a three-year deal worth a weekly salary of $210,000 (£130,000) plus a signing bonus of $8 million (£5 million).
Nonetheless, The Mail reported that van Persie will meet Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and club chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Wednesday to discuss his future.
Van Persie, who has had an impressive run of form this season, has praised the spirit shown by Arsenal to finish third after a topsy-turvy season which featured a series of horrible moments, including an 8-2 thrashing by Manchester United and a 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan in the Champions League.
“It was double [pressure]. We knew what was at stake and that made the game a bit tense,” the captain told Arsenal.com. “The main thing was that we had to qualify, everyone is very pleased and everyone is enjoying this moment. It is just a fantastic feeling again to be ahead of Spurs. I heard that they won but it didn't really matter because we won our game and that is just the best feeling of all.”
“It is incredible,” the striker added. “We had to dig deep and come back on a couple of occasions when we were having a hard time. At the start of the season we had a very difficult period but we bounced back very well from that.
Van Persie has also praised the supporters' impact and admitted they have made the difference over the course of the entire Gunners season.
“The [travelling fans] have been unbelievable, the home fans as well,” he said. “The last few months have been different class. Every single game - the Spurs game, the Milan game, you can name them all - unbelievable.”