Juventus try to swoop on Arsenal's Van Persie with improved bid of £20m
JUVENTUS are preparing a second bid for Robin van Persie which will be close to the £20 million threshold set by Arsenal.
The Italian champions have already had a £10 million offer rejected but are emerging as an increasingly serious threat to the two Manchester clubs in the battle for Van Persie, particularly as the Arsenal captain himself is understood to be attracted by a move to Serie A.
No formal second offer has gone in but, according to sources in Italy, Juventus have remained in contact with Arsenal and will make a significantly improved offer.
Juventus are also prepared to make Van Persie the highest paid player in their history, with wages of around £190,000 a week on a potential five-year deal. Manchester United and Manchester City have also had respective offers of around £10 million and £12 million rejected, but are yet to return with second bids.
Arsenal will not listen to offers below £20 million and, having got £24 million for Samir Nasri in similar circumstances last year, regard the first round of offers for Van Persie as completely unrealistic.
If it is decided to sell Van Persie and Juventus are now massively out-bid, however, there is an obvious attraction in sending him to Serie A rather than a Premier League rival.
It all leaves City and United with a major decision to make. Roberto Mancini, the City manager, regards Van Persie as one of his transfer priorities but has been told that he must first reduce the wage bill and move on some of his existing strikers.
United are cautious about getting drawn into a bidding war with their neighbours but are still understood to be Van Persie’s preferred option in England.
Time, though, would appear to be of the essence, with Wenger having hinted at setting “an internal deadline” that would come well before end of the transfer window.
If no acceptable offer arrives before any self-imposed deadline, Wenger believes that Van Persie would still perform with the same professionalism for Arsenal over the final year of his contract.
Although it would be a similarly depressing blow to lose their captain and star player for a second successive year, Arsenal’s overall position this summer is also stronger.
Wenger has already recruited two new strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud and is seriously considering a bid for Malaga and Spain winger Santi Cazorla.