Goal.com/ Alex Young
London: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted for the first time that that the club could sell Robin van Persie.
The 28-year-old has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus after notching 37 goals in all competitions last season but the Gunners have been adamant that the striker would be staying at the Emirates Stadium despite his insistence that he will not be extending his contract.
However, Van Persie has been omitted from the squad’s pre-season tour of Malaysia and Wenger has now conceded that the Netherlands international could leave the club, adding that “if the transfers happen, they happen”.
“Robin van Persie is a world-class striker,” the Frenchman told reporters.
"At the end of the day, we will do what is in the best interests of the club.”
Arsenal are thought to be holding out for a fee of around 30 million euros for the player, who has just 12 months left on his current deal, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side believed to be leading the chase for Van Persie’s signature after having had a bid already rejected.
The saga will remind Gunners fans of the protracted transfers of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri to Manchester City last summer, two losses from which the club were left reeling at the beginning of the campaign.
And Wenger has insisted that, however the Van Persie situation is resolved, the club will not allow a similar downturn in form to reoccur.
He continued: “We know how much we had to fight to come third last year because we missed out the start of the season."
“After seven games we had lost four and we have learned that for us it is vital for us to focus on the start of the season rather than on any transfers."
“If the transfers happen, they happen. As long as you are at the club you give your best for the club and that is the only pride you can have as a football player and as a manager. I am convinced that Robin is like that.”
We're building him (RvP) up now because of the World Cup. It’s a pity but we have to or he’ll never be fit.
Louis van Gaal