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Barca meeting fuels talk of Van exit

ROBIN Van Persie's Arsenal future has been plunged into doubt after he was caught meeting Barcelona officials after the Gunners' defeat to Wigan on Monday night.

While still wearing his Arsenal tracksuit, the Dutch ace is understood to have had dinner with several Barca players and officials following the Wigan game.

Van Persie, who has scored an astonishing 27 league goals so far this season, is in talks over a new Arsenal contract as his current deal expires next summer.

The meeting will add to the speculation that Van Persie could leave the Emirates at the end of this season.

Meanwhile, Johan Djourou has warned Arsenal they must "show up" when Chelsea come to the Emirates on Saturday to avoid a second successive home defeat.

The Gunners had won nine of their last Premier League games before the visit by relegation-battlers Wigan.

However, Arsene Wenger's men were caught out by two early goals as the Latics capitalised on some poor defending, before then seeing off what little attacking threat the home side mustered, to go on and record a famous 2-1 win which lifted them clear of the drop zone.

Arsenal are five points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham and Newcastle, and some seven in front of Chelsea, albeit having now played a match more.

The Swiss defender accepts another lacklustre display this weekend could once again leave the Gunners taking an anxious glance over their shoulders in the race to secure Champions League qualification.

"We were not good against Wigan and were missing sharpness in our passes. It is difficult to win games when you are like that," Djourou said. "Maybe it was a bit of fatigue, but we all know Saturday is very important and we have to show up for this one. We would rather be in this situation than where the others are. The most important thing is to come back stronger, and what better chance to do it than against Chelsea?"


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