At least Robin van Persie is doing one thing right this summer in accordance with his current club, Arsenal. They don’t want to sell him to a Premier League club, and it actually seems like Van Persie is complying with that need, currently signaling that Juventus are his favorites as his next team.
Juventus are one of three major contenders for the services of the 2012 PFA and Writers’ player of the year, with Manchester City and Manchester United also in the chasing pack. For Wenger, selling to Manchester City is something he’s obviously trying to avoid. Not strengthening the ultra-rich champions, who have already taken key players from him in the last few seasons, seems to be as much as a goal as keeping his team strong. Seeing Van Persie going to Manchester United seems like the lesser of two evils.
Juventus is the preferred option, even for Van Persie. Maybe because he feels it’ll sit better with the club he’s played for since 2004, but maybe he actually prefers leaving the Premier League for the Italian champions and getting involved with the regeneration of an empire, returning to the Champions league as league champions for the first time in seven years.
Juventus, however, are the least able, financially, among the three clubs. They’ve already spent over €50 million this summer on new signing and settling co-ownership deals. It’s still not quite clear if they can come up with a £20-25 million offer for the 29 year old striker, who’s also looking for a five-year, £120,000 contract from whoever signs him. Obviously, he’ll get the biggest salary from Manchester City, but that’s a club Arsenal hope they won’t have to deal with.
Van Persie enjoyed his best season in the Premier League in 2011-2012, helping Arsenal to a 3rd place finish after a disastrous start, scoring 30 league goals, winning the golden boot. He has scored 132 goals in 279 matches for the club, adding 63 assists as well in all competitions. Last season was the first time in his career he was injury-free for the entire campaign, and his fragility and age does hurt his price. Juventus would probably be much more pleased with signings Edinson Cavani from Napoli.
Manchester City have yet to complete a signing this summer, suddenly looking all cautious and responsible with their finances with the FIFA fair play regulation coming in fast. Manchester United signed Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund and Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra.