by Steve Stammers
Arsenal have slapped a £30 million price tag on striker Robin van Persie.
The Dutch striker has so far failed to agree an extension to his current deal which has just one season left.
The club are willing to make Van Persie the highest earner in the club’s history with an offer close to £130,000-a-week.
But Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood admitted that if another club offers Van Persie £250,000 a week, then Arsenal would not be able to compete.
Arsenal have not given up hope of keeping their captain, but if he insists on leaving the price will be high.
Van Persie is being tracked by Manchester City and Juventus.
Paris St Germain, funder by Qatari owners, are also keeping tabs on developments.
Russian League big spenders Anzhi, managed by Guus Hiddink, would also top any contract offer to Van Persie. But the 28 year-old striker does not want to be based in Moscow. This summer’s debate will revolve around Van Persie’s willingness to commit his future to Arsenal.
If he can’t do that the London club will take any £30m offer – even one from a rival Premier League club like champions City.
If no-one matches that valuation, then manager Arsene Wenger is happy to keep Van Persie at The Emirates and allow his contract to run down in June 2013.
That would make the player a free agent in a year’s time but he would also be approaching his 30th birthday and his market value will have dipped and he would be unlikely to command a salary in excess of Arsenal’s current offer.
Arsenal will also have bolstered their strike force by the start of the season.
Lukas Podoloski has already joined from Cologne for £10m and a deal for a similar sum has been agreed with new French champions Montpellier for striker Olivier Giroud. If Van Persie stays at the club to see out his contract Giroud will have a full season to adapt to the Premier League.
But there is also a question mark about the future of Theo Walcott. The England winger also has one-year left on his contract but talks about a new deal have reached deadlock.
The two parties are still some distance from agreement and Walcott could be on the move in the summer.