Arsenal may have agreed with Robin van Persie not to discuss his future this summer, but that is not going to stop those in and around the club passing comment on the star forward. The latest man to attract attention for his words on the vitally important issue for the Gunners is Andre Santos.
He is very intelligent on the pitch, the Brazilian told ESPN Brasil. He smashed the Premier League. It helped Arsenal get to where we are, in the Champions League spots, and I have no doubt that he will be one of the stars of Euro 2012.
He has been at the club eight years and this was his best season. Sometimes, a player is interested in getting to know other teams and of course, playing well, he has attracted interest from many other teams. Of course your mind is affected.
He is currently fully focused on the Euros and then, after, he can talk about whether he wants to stay with Arsenal.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has also been explaining why there will be no revelations on the saga until after this summer's European Championships, which start on Friday.
Robin sat down with us at the end of the season and we had a good discussion, Gazidis told the club's website.
What we agreed at that meeting was that we would keep all the discussions we had over the summer to ourselves and make announcements when it is the right time.
We have to respect the fact we have agreed to keep that among ourselves.
Robin is clearly focused on the Euros at the moment and we wish him well, and at the right time we will make the right announcements.
Reports in the Daily Mail claim that Arsenal could also face a battle to hold onto their star defender Thomas Vermaelen this summer. The Belgian center-back is said to be interesting Barcelona as an alternative to their preferred targets Thiago Silva and David Luiz.
After losing Cesc Fabregas to the Catalans last summer, the Gunners will be loathed to lose another key player this time around. And, unless Barcelona make signing Vermaelen a priority and the 26-year-old pushes hard for the move--both of which appear unlikely--then he should remain at the Emirates.
Arsenal's chances of hanging onto Van Persie, Vermaelen and the rest of their key players will be strengthened considerably if they can demonstrate their ambition by signing some quality players during the close season.
An objective Gazidis claims to share.
We want to win the Premier League, he said. We want to compete to win the Champions League. That is what we are planning for during the course of the summer and everything we do is geared towards that.
The Gunners, though, may be frustrated in their attempts to sign reported targets Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca. The young Barcelona duo had been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou in a quest for regular first-team action. But, according to TalkSport, new Barca boss Tito Vilanova sees the attacking pair as a key part of his plans.
Boss Arsene Wenger is also said to be looking to Spain for Malaga striker Salomon Rondon, according to Tuttosport. The 22-year-old scored 11 goals to help Malaga achieve a qualifying position for the Champions League last season and also hit a late equalizer to give Venezuela a 1-1 draw in Uruguay on Saturday. But a reported £14.5 million asking price may halt Wenger's interest.