Published: 20 July, 2012
by STEVE BARNETT
SCOUT Gilles Grimandi says he would love to see Robin van Persie stay at Arsenal, but insists the right measures have already been taken should the skipper exit the Emirates.
Star striker van Persie revealed he won’t be signing a new contract with the north Londoners, sparking a chase for his signature from a host of top clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus.
Now manager Arsene Wenger and the Gunners’ board must decide whether to cash in on their Dutch asset, or keep him for the final 12 months of his contract and then let him go on a free.
Whatever happens, Grimandi is adamant that Arsenal have taken the necessary actions to ensure they won’t be “cornered” into making a decision.
“We want van Persie to stay but there is only one year left on his contract so it’s complicated,” Grimandi said. “The atmosphere is good at Arsenal. He has been with us for eight years and has a real bond with the club. Was Olivier Giroud signed to compensate for his departure?
“Yes, we worked to avoid finding ourselves in a corner. But we are doing everything we can to keep him and we want him to stay with us.
“However, if there is an exceptional offer and he wants to leave, keeping him will be tough. I would never have thought, for example, that Thiago Silva could be transferable but he was. There are variables that can’t be controlled,” he added.
It’s believed Arsenal have received offers for van Persie, with Juventus seen as the preferred bidders rather than sell to a Premier League rival.
The Italian club’s general director, Giuseppe Marotta, said they know what they need to do to land the striker.
“Van Persie is a fans’ dream,” Marotta said.
“Everyone has dreams but then you have to confront this with the reality.
“We know what we have to do, and that is the important thing.”