Arsenal striker Robin van Persie’s agent has held talks about a summer move to Juventus.
Arsene Wenger is determined to keep his captain, who is also on the wish-list of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City, as well as both the Milan clubs and Paris Saint-Germain.
Indications are that he would favour a foreign move if he left the Gunners.
Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has made overtures to Van Persie’s representatives.
The Italian giants will make a determined effort to sign the Dutch striker and are prepared to pay in excess of £25million.
The 28-year-old, who’s favourite to be named the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year to add to the PFA equivalent he won at the weekend, will be offered a new four-year deal that will shatter Arsenal’s wage structure – plus a £5m signing-on fee.
Real are the club Arsenal most fear will turn this summer into another transfer saga to rival the Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri tugs-of-war in past years, and they are determined to stop that from happening.
Wenger will not be under pressure to sell, even if Van Persie does not sign a new contract.
The club are prepared to let him run down his final year rather than do what they did with Nasri last year and cash in.
Wenger has outlined that Arsenal will wait until the end of the domestic season, but want Van Persie’s future resolved before the Euros start in June.
Arsenal remain hopeful, and confident, of keeping their skipper, as his family are settled in London and they believe he has a genuine affection and loyalty to the club.
By John Cross