Sunday, 22 July 2012

van P€r$i€ wants £10m a season! -Cazorla on radar -Wenger reveals duo's training ground role

Morning Gooners.

The Arsenal 24-man squad arrive in Malaysia ahead for their nine day tour of Asia. The squad list posted on the official site names a mixture of experienced and younger players and doesn't include a host of more established players.

Neither the French duo Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, nor German internationals Per Mertesacker and Lucas Podolski make the trip along with injured players: Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Frimpong and Jack Wilshere. Aaron Ramsey is on Olympic duty as is Ju Young Park. Nicklas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin aren't going and as we know, Robin van P€r$i€ is not part of the traveling party either.

I don't want to talk too much about the Dutchman today, but if it's not all about the money and sporting ambition has something to do with his decision to move on from playing in north London, why is his agent Kees Voss telling all the three clubs interested in signing Robin he wants a minimum £195k a week, as reported by The Sun.

Of course he won't leave the Grove this summer unless Arsene Wenger's valuation of the player is met. It's clear the Frenchman is also of a mind to keep him. Speaking to the official site, Wenger said:

"For me, Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best, and my desire is to keep him at the Club. 
"As for the rest I will do what is in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club. That, at the moment, is where we are. There is not a lot more to say than that."

The interesting part is that Wenger isn't closing the door on van P€r$i€ having a future at the club. He expects Robin to be professional about the situation, while Arsenal continue to pay his wages.

Without the distraction of van P€r$i€ being there, the manager and his staff can go about getting the team prepared for the season ahead. They all know how important a good start to the campaign is. Wenger has highlighted the fact our season was virtually over last term after losing four of our opening seven games. He doesn't appear to want transfer noise to distract us again this time round, hence leaving van P€r$i€ in London.

Wenger has said new first team coaching duo Steve Bould and Neil Banfield have already made an impact on the players and even elaborated on their roles within his team.

The Frenchman said:
"Steve and Neil are more [assigned to] defence and midfield, when we do specific work."
As the first pictures from the sessions two weeks ago suggested, Bould and Banfield have a major impact to make on the defence. So far the manager has gone into the transfer market and made two signings - both attacking players. Podolski and Giroud are ready made replacements for Walcott and van P€r$i€. And without a defensive target even mentioned, it appears we're prepared to try and make a difference on the training pitch rather than in the transfer market when it comes to attempting to reduce the number of goals we concede.

The manager has said he will now sell players before he buys, citing the need to reduce the squad size in order to comply with the Premier League 25-man squad rule. But the well worn phrase about one or two players still coming in is encouraging.

Of the players leaving it seems Nicklas Bendtner could be first out of the door with Arsenal wanting £7.5m for him, according to the Sunday Mirror. Andrey Arshavin could be heading back to Zenit St Petersburg, while Marouane Chamakh is attracting the interests of Besiktas.

But one player who is staying at the club according to the Sunday Mirror is Theo Walcott as Arsenal are optimistic the attacker will sign a new deal to stay in north London.

One player's situation Arsene Wenger appears to be watching closely is that of Spain international Santiago Cazorla. The midfielder was on our radar last summer but we got gazumped by Malaga. Now the Spanish club are in financial difficulties, Wenger is closely monitoring the situation.

It also appears we're closer to signing M’Baye Niang, with The People reporting our bid for the French youngster has only stalled because of the money we are prepared to put down up front.

And that's it for today. The manager is due to speak with the media later. I'm sure they won't be asking questions about a certain Dutchman! More tomorrow.

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