So RVP apparently slunk back to training camp on the first day, two weeks after dropping that bombshell where he refused to sign a new contract citing differences with the club’s future ambitions. Now, he wants to resolve his future at the club as soon as possible over a future meeting. No date has been set. However, he does not figure in Arsenal’s online pre order of their new kit.
The past fortnight has probably been a reality check for Van Persie. He could not have fathomed the depth of reaction of the fans. The initial dismay at the prospect of a record breaking striker departing was replaced by an upsurge in anger as fans were quick to remind him that they and the club had given him their unstinting support through all those injury plagued years. Many were quick to point out that RVP’s announcement appeared to be a marketing ploy to embellish his first true great season. From the club’s perspective, there was no repeat of the Sir Alex Ferguson rush to throw more money at Rooney’s feet after the Utd striker dramatically said he was weighing signing for City. In fact, the response from other clubs have been down right disappointing.
RVP’s name does not even crop up when Juventus, the club he’s most frequently linked to, discuss their new season. Antonio Conte has been quite adamant that there was no need to spend €40m on transfers and appears to be more interested in unearthing more Arturo Vidal’s, one of the principal architects of last season’s winning squad. He praised Lucio and Sebastian Giovinco’s contribution, two of Juve’s prescient buys. Conte talked of nursing Maurcio Isla back to health as one of his priorities and hoping the talented Chilean could finally contribute to the midfield. Of course, this is not to say that Van Persie is not being considered given a post Alessandro Del Piero era and Conte did bring up the legend’s name but it was a moment of nostalgia. In fact, Juve look suspiciously like they are embracing Arsenal’s prudent model of austerity and development of cut rate talent.
Then there is City who despite plenty of noises in the past have not exactly dropped their pants in courting Van Persie since his hubris. They seemingly are more vested in trying to off load their mineshaft of strikers which could include Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko but who might find new homes difficult to find given their abortive cost and inflated wages. Mancini might have also detected a prima donna streak in the Dutch striker which could serve as a painful reminder that City’s season was almost lost in a series of such moments on and off the pitch. This unwanted aspect of RVP has been kept in check at Arsenal where he’s virtually top dog but at City such attention seeking behaviour is quite the norm.
United, the other Manchester club, which could be a potential destination just got served a prickly reminder in Dimitar Berbatov wanting yet another exit, the last exception to a policy not to sign anyone above the age of 26 years. It did not work out well. In fact, it proved to be a £31m mistake. One really wonders whether Van Persie, an injury plagued striker turning 29 years in August would really be a Utd target given such great risk.
Again, to reiterate this is not to say some of these clubs will not make a play for RVP. At this point it is a wait and watch attitude monitoring events within their clubs as well as what goes in his negotiations with Arsenal. But RVP after such a clear cut dismissal of a future in the club is clearly operating from a weakened position. He’s not exactly the hot property he envisioned and it could be used by Arsenal to effectively remind him he already does have a home. In a strange twist it is Andy Carroll, a misfiring £35m boondoggle, on Liverpool’s transfer block who if they recoup half will consider themselves lucky, hogging the headlines of a summer saga away from Anfield.