Robin Van Persie has revealed that negotiations over a new contract have been put on hold until the end of the season. The announcement, which is likely to prolong the anxiety of Arsenal fans over their star man's future, was made in Arsenal's program for their 5-2 victory over Tottenham on Sunday.
There have been a lot of stories, generally contradictory ones, about my contract situation recently so I'd like to make it clear, he said, according to Goal.com.
There's nothing complicated or sinister--the club and I have both agreed to speak at the end of the season and see how things stand. The boss, Ivan Gazidis and I are all comfortable with it.
I need all my focus to be on football--on captaining this team, improving every day, doing extra work on the training pitch and preparing for the very busy schedule of fixtures we have.
If I look down the list, there's not much time to sit down and think about anything else! For me, this is a time to play football and not speak about personal things.
All of my energy needs to go on getting this team where we want it to be this season.
Van Persie's contract expires at the end of next season and Arsenal are desperate to avoid a repeat of last summer when the club were forced to cash in on midfielder Samir Nasri rather than losing him for free the following year.
The Daily Mail are reporting that Arsenal will look to smash their stringent wage structure in order to tempt their top scorer to stay. According to the report, the club will offer Van Persie a deal that amounts to £150,000 a week. That package would include a signing on fee of £5 million, in addition to a weekly wage of £130,000.
Whether this will have any impact on Van Persie's decision on whether to stay at the club he joined from Feyenoord in 2004 remains to be seen. It would appear likely that the 28-year-old's decision to postpone talks to the summer reflects Van Persie's desire to see whether Arsenal will claim a Champions League place and if much-needed quality additions will be made to the squad.
Some names mentioned as possible Arsenal targets include German pair Lukas Podolski and Mario Goetze, while Sunderland attacking midfielder Stéphane Sessègnon has today also been linked to a summer move to the Emirates by The Sun.
Sessègnon has been in impressive form for the North East side this season and has notched up six goals and seven assists in the Premier League. But, according to the report, Arsenal will face competition from their North London rivals Tottenham for the Benin international's signature.
While Sessègnon would likely be a useful addition for the Gunners if they could get a deal done, adding an attacking verve either through the middle or out wide, he is not the kind of name that is going get Arsenal fans, or Van Persie, salivating.