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Thanks to everyone who read my piece on summer acquisitions yesterday. Sorry if anyone found the title misleading, it was supposed to do that. The idea was to impress how important it is to consolidate the team we have already and trim where we need to trim before entering the transfer market again. Arsenal have started to build too many teams over the past 7 years only to lose an important player in the summer or even a few unassuming players only to realise that we haven’t replaced them properly (Gilberto).
On May 16th 2012 at 10.30am Robin Van Persie will arrive at Arséne Wenger’s house for contract talks with Wenger and Arsenal Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis.
I’m sure every Gooner out there is extremely nervous about this and will be keeping one eye on the sports news tomorrow desperately waiting to hear good news.
I believe these talks will be concluded quite swiftly for a number of reasons, and to the satisfaction of Arsenal supporters everywhere even if so grimly.
I believe that the contract talks will be concluded quickly because Robin is due to meet up with the Dutch national squad on Thursday and the Dutch are very keen on not having any external distractions so I expect the contract talks to be over quickly as Robin will not have a chance to discuss his future until after the Euros as I also expect Holland to do very well and Arsenal will not want to wait so long to resolve his future.
Remuneration aside these are the two scenarios I see as the only two serious options on how the talks will conclude:
- Robin signs a new 4 year deal (3 year extension) to stay at Arsenal and it is announced some time on Thursday so he can go away and focus on the national team.
- Robin does not sign a new deal but accepts that Arsenal will not sell and that he is going to be an Arsenal player next season no matter what. This may be announced on Thursday so Robin can get away from the spotlight with the national team.
Scenario 1 is the ideal outcome for all Gooners but even scenario 2 will give most Gooners some grim satisfaction. Keeping Robin for next season is the most important thing.
There are rumours that Robin will go to City because his agent was spotted there but do not buy into this. Agents represent many players.
Also, Robin is not the type of player to leave us for another team in the same league and even with all of their riches I cannot see City paying us what he is worth.
Even with just a year left on his contract RVP is worth £26m to us to stay so to sell we would have to add at least 50% to that. I cannot see City paying £39m for a player in his final year even with their oil money.
I believe that scenario 1 is more likely because of the reasons outlined in my earlier post but also because this summer or next season will be our last season with financial “restraints”. In many ways next season is a bridge between our years of austerity and our future years of the prosperity promised to us when we moved to the Emirates. After next season we will be able to renegotiate most of our commercial deals and will be in a place, financially, where we should not have to rely on player sales to make a profit.
What this should mean is that Arsenal will have the money to spend big this summer, on paper at least, and will hopefully be able to convince Robin about our ability to strengthen and compete. Whether we do or not is a different story but we must be able to convince Robin we can.
I believe that with the tumultuous season we had and with all of our difficulties we should be able to convince Robin that with a fully fit squad, the new recruits fully bedded in strengthening our core and potential new signings on top of Podolski (which I honestly believe will be our only “marquee” signing but hope I am wrong) as well as another consecutive season in the Champions League proper (against the odds) will convince Robin that we have a shot.
With the new commercial deals coming after next season Arsenal can afford to open up the coffers and spend big this summer so I expect it to be an exciting year where signings that we do make won’t be teenagers we picked up for a relatively small fee. I’m not convinced by some of the names we’ve been linked with are what we need but if signing M’Vila and Vertonghen et al will convince Robin to sign then I say we just splash the cash. We’re certainly going to have it.
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