Nope, I'm not talking about the AWOL Tevez but Robin Van Persie.
RVP is arguably Arsenal's only world class player since the departures of Fabregas and Nasri. But, with Arsenal seemingly in decline, noticeable booing and chants of 'you don't know what your doing' aimed at Wenger from frustrated Gooners, RVP can be forgiven for looking to jump ship. He is 28 now and has only one FA Cup winners medal to his name on these shores, for a player of his talent and scoring consistency it's not enough. In the summer he will only have 12months remaining on his contract so the transfer fee he could go for maybe as low as £15-20Mil which will have Europe's finest clubs salivating.
Assessing the possible options;
Tevez will go this summer so Mancini will have a spot for Van Persie. City will top trump any personal terms Van Persie is offered by other suitors but he'd do well to look at the situation Nasri finds himself in, not being first choice.
It's likely both Berbatov and Owen will go in the summer, leaving Roo, Welbeck and Hernandez. RVP wouldn't fit Fergie's current transfer policy but if he wants to win the CL again before he retires, a world class striker is probably needed.
PS I'd like him at United.
Would probably be second favourites after City due to the contract they could offer. Chelsea will have a Drogba sized hole in their squad come the summer and RVP wouldn't have to relocate his family.
Real could be interested but already have Higuain and Benzema on their books. He could join Cesc @ Barca but they very rarely play with a traditional striker and the one they have - David Villa - is often made to play on the left of a front 3 to make room for the Messi magic.
The Milan clubs have tried courting Tevez in the window just gone so both are/will be looking for a forward.
Where could you see RVP next year?
If Arsenal finish 6th or 7th then I think he'll go. I can't see him wanting the politics of Real or being a small cog at Barca. Serie A is a real possibility, if you were AC Milan would you go for him or Tevez? - Exactly.
I can't consider the possibilities of him joining United, may have a heart attack. Same with City & Chelsea but for different reasons.
I agree with the comments about RVP being in it for the love of Arsenal and the game. Like Henry and Fabregas, I don't see him joining another English club. I could see him in Italy but not so much spain, certainly not with Real Madrid or Barcelona.
My question would be, if Arsenal were to finish outside the top four and he wanted to leave, would any club be willing to stump up the cash (that Arsenal would want) to get him? He is a quality player but he is 28, suffers with injury problems and will only have a year left on his contract.
PS - wasn't Aguero brought in as Tevez's replacement?
Depends what you could get him for I suppose.
On the flip side, given his age, injury record, Arsenal position, what would Arsenal offer him?
He's 29 this summer, so 30 next (wow - maths), and will want a minimum of four years I'd have thought. Is he really going to accept any less than £150k? I doubt it.
So 4 years at £150k is £31m (including bonuses here and there for loyalty, agents fee it'll easily reach £35m). Arsenal could probably get £20m in the summer. It's a £55m commitment.
Maybe they'll be happy to sell.
Add to that that Wenger doesn't like to offer long contracts to players over thirty...
Personally, I'd look to get him to sign a years extension before selling him. A Fergie type player agreement if you like. I beleive you should sign players young and sell them as stars (aka, us selling Torres and buying Suarez/Carroll. Man Utd selling C.Ronaldo and getting Valencia. Can't think of one for Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City.), keeping RVP for another two or three years and Arsenal won't get anything for him.
I personally think he'll be Barcelona bound this summer. Villa's been injured and is the wrong side of thirty now (and someone I believe will be heading for one of the Milan clubs), plus RVP, I feel, would fit into the Barca system like Henry did. He's from the Dutch leagues (albeit a long time ago!) and is well accustomed to playing as part of a wide right/left forward.
I can see Chelsea turning attentions to a Falcoa or Hulk - if the money can be raised from a Torres sale and AVB stays (and if they fail to reach top four, then they'd probably go for BOTH players!). City have a squad for a few years and will not be keen to outlay mega money with the FFPR coming in. Nor can I see United bringing in another top striker with Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez covering that position.
Why would Chelsea be looking to sell Torres? He has been one of their best players this season, it is only goals that are missing. Obviously, that is a big part of being a striker but who cares if he is creating chances for others to score? End of the day, it is the team and results that matter, not individuals (aka, the Emile Heskey impact). IMO, Torres with Mata just behind is a brilliant combination and if Torres does manage to find his scoring boots (only a matter of time) then it could well be one of the best partnerships in the Premier League.
Of course, Chelsea are also impatient and stupid at times, they like to do things that others wouldn't agree with so who knows?
I think Barca will put in a bid for him, not so sure it will meet the expected price though.
He will be a hard man to replace.
If Arsenal do decide to sell him, and if the Gunners bosses have any brains left, they must reject any English clubs involved in the bidding outright and sell him to the continent.
Juve have ruled themselves out of the bidding and are turning their attentions to Cavani/Higuain.
Barcelona do not need a striker. Their priorities as regards squad additions are left back and centre back, considering both Abidal and Pujol are ageing and have health/injury problems.