• Premier League

'Difficult conversations' await RvP

ESPN staff
July 16, 2012
Robin van Persie's focus will now be on club rather than country © Getty Images

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has admitted he can sympathise with Robin van Persie for wanting to leave the Gunners.

Van Persie, Arsenal's leading scorer last term, earlier this month dropped the bombshell that he will not sign a new deal. With less than 12 months remaining on his contract, Arsenal face the dilemma of having to cash in now or face the prospect of losing him for nothing next year.

The Netherlands international will be the focus of attention on Monday, as he is due to report back for training at London Colney.

Wright expects a few "difficult conversations" but he is of the mindset that the forward, who has given eight years to the club, cannot be criticised for seeking silverware.

"Robin van Persie will find himself in an awkward situation when he returns to training at Arsenal today," Wright wrote in his column in the Sun. "The Dutchman heads back to London Colney following a holiday and he will meet up with his team-mates for the first time since revealing he will not be signing a new contract. I'm sure, though, after a few difficult conversations, the Arsenal boys will tell Van Persie they want him to stay in North London.

"I really hope Arsenal and Van Persie can resolve this situation and that he will end up staying. But I cannot see this happening.

"At least Van Persie is not the sort of player who would be unprofessional and cause problems within the group.

"And in many respects, I cannot blame him for wanting to join a club who are winning trophies."

Arsenal saw Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy move on last summer and the departure of key players is a worrying trend Wright feels needs to be addressed.

He said: "For the last few years, Arsenal have lost at least one top player each summer and they have struggled to win anything as a result.

"Some people think footballers only think about money but this is not true. City may pay big bucks, but the attraction is the silverware.

"I think Arsene Wenger will be disappointed with the situation, but not angry or surprised. "Arsenal need to address this problem of losing their best players. I admire their business plan about not spending what they haven't got, but the club is getting left behind.

"Even if Van Persie does leave they have yet another problem as Theo Walcott finds himself in a similar contract situation with just one year left."

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