While Arsenal have yet to find a team that they can agree on the terms with for the transfer of Robin van Persie, it seems the Dutch striker has now shifted his desire for his new team to Manchester United, hoping to immediately become their highest paid player along with Wayne Rooney.
First it was Juventus, but that was Van Persie just being nice. Arsenal don’t want to sell Van Persie, but they’ll be forced to at some point, unless they want to see him go as a free agent once his contract runs out in 11 months. The obvious choice is to send him away from the Premier League, with Juventus being the prime destination. But Juve, with all of their desire to grab a world class (debatable) player and especially striker, might not have the sufficient funds to give Arsenal what they want, which is nothing less than £20 million, maybe even more.
While Manchester City are the last place Wenger would like to see Van Persie go to, hurt and feeling stingy from Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy already leaving to the richest club in England, the Premier League champions are still not making any moves towards anyone. Roberto Mancini, apparently, doesn’t have the green light to pull the trigger on any deal before he sells a player or two to get some money into the club’s coffers and clear something under the huge wage bill. Mancini himself has promised there will be a major signing in the next couple of weeks.
That leaves Manchester United, the lesser of two evils from up north, as far as Wenger is considered. United missed a second consecutive league title by less than a hair, and the thought of Alex Ferguson getting a substantial re-inforcement to his attacking crew should be making every Premier League manager a little bit uneasy.
And there’s also what Van Persie is going to ask in terms of wages, hoping to become Manchester United’s highest paid player at the instant he lands at Old Trafford, feeling that the club will answer to his demands in a positive way, giving him the £220,000 per week salary he wants, just like Wayne Rooney. Maybe it was all about the money after all, and the talk about titles and ambitions was just a mask, a disguise.
Whatever his demands are, he needs Arsenal to accept an offer, which hasn’t happened so far. The London club feels there room for more patience, willing to draw out this transfer saga a little longer. Like Van Persie, the club’s direction in recent years has been mostly about the money, and with all of Wenger’s preferences, the highest bidder will probably be the one that gets the services of the Premier League’s top scorer last season.