Thursday, 16 August 2012

van P€r$i€'s outlandish demands revealed -Song next to leave -Walcott to follow?

Morning Gooners.

So the announcement has been made. August 15 at 7.20pm, Arsenal announced to the world it had sold Robin van P€r$i€ - the captain for the 2011/12 season to Manchester United.

The fee £15m up front and a guaranteed £22.5m over the course of the Dutchman's four year deal at Old Trafford which could end up being £24m if they win the Premier League or Champions League over the course of van P€r$i€'s first contract.

It's a fantastic piece of business for a 29-year-old player with 11 months left on his contract, has already told the club they won't sign a new deal and who has an injury record which is as long as your arm..

But of course football isn't just about business. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud might have already been signed as his replacements and Santi Cazorla as the creative spark we needed, but there is still a large amount of cash in the transfer proceeds account.

To show our ambition the manager has to reinvest some - if not all - of the money he's made on van P€r$i€ back into the team. I don't think that necessarily needs to be in a striker, but other areas of the team could do with strengthening.

Arsene Wenger has been planning for this moment for months. They knew van P€r$i€ was leaving, they just didn't know where or for how much. But the second they really knew he was off was when van P€r$i€ and his agent Kees Voss made a series of demands at the meeting a day before the Dutchman was due to leave for the European Championships.

They slammed Wenger and Gazidis for not signing quality players - van P€r$i€ highlighted the fact he wanted his Netherlands team mate Rafael van der Vaart to join the club but Wenger had decided against it before he signed for our north London neighbours.

As well as coming up with an impossible and unrealistic list of players he wanted us to sign, van P€r$i€ also told the boss which of his team mates weren't good enough.

van P€r$i€'s mind was made up. He'd seen quality players leave and not replaced. While he knew that he could be well paid at Arsenal he wanted the chance to win trophies. This summer - on the best season of his career - was the last chance for him to get paid the mega bucks offered by the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

There was no way that Arsenal could be able to match the £225k a week he'll be on at Old Trafford or the same amount he was offered at Manchester City. But he didn't want to be tarnished with the same brush as the mercenaries who went to Eastlands. Ferguson offered him the chance to go to Old Trafford and that has given him the chance to turn down Mancini.

Where does he fit in at Old Trafford? He'll be there fifth striker. They already have Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez and Berbatov. Plus they've signed Nick Powell from Crewe. It seems as though he's been signed by Ferguson as a statement rather than as part of a plan. He wants to show Mancini that he can pull off big signings still. Spending up to £70m on a 29-year-old doesn't make business sense. Especially when your business model isn't paid for by petrol.

So van P€r$i€ heads to Manchester today to complete a medical and put pen to paper on a four year deal. Instead of being an Arsenal legend - and he would have been if he'd signed a new contract - he'll end up being just another footnote in our history.

And following him out of the exit door is almost certainly going to be Alex Song. The deal to Barcelona is close.

It's not all doom and gloom. I knew van P€r$i€ was leaving and I'm happy with the signings we've made. We still have reasons to feel optimistic about the season ahead.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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