Peter Hill-Wood admits Arsenal cannot match the wages of other richer clubs
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood fears that Arsenal will lose out if Robin van Persie decides to go for gold rather than stay at The Emirates.
The Dutch striker has already had detailed talks about a new contract with the club before reporting for international duty with Holland for the European Championship.
They will resume later in the ¬summer.
He has one year left on his deal and manager Arsene Wenger is keen to secure an agreement for him to extend his stay.
Van Persie has attracted attention from the likes of Manchester City, Italian champions Juventus and rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala who are said to be ready to pay Arsenal more than £40million for his services.
And that would be a massive temptation for a player who will be 29 in August.
But Hill-Wood stressed that ¬Arsenal will do everything they can to keep him at the club.
“He is vital to us and has been an extremely good captain,” said Hill-Wood. “But if somebody comes along and offers Robin £250,000 a week then I am afraid we cannot compete with that.
“With players, you never know what they are going to do.
“Some players say they want silverware but when they have the chance to earn ¬extraordinary money that has been pumped into the game, then you just have to hope they will stay ¬because they are happy and loyal where they are.
“There are players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at Manchester United who have been loyal to one club but players like that are few and far between.
“Hopefully we can reach ¬agreement with Robin and ideally he will extend his contract.
“We have already brought in one new player in Lukas ¬Podolski and I believe we will bring in more. I am confident we will, in fact.
“I just hope that Robin will be with us next season because I genuinely feel we can make a real challenge for the ¬Premier League title.
“We had an atrocious start to last season but we recovered to finish third which was a marvellous achievement when you look at the problems that we had with ¬injuries.”
In the mood: Lukas Podolski poses in his new kit
Hill-Wood has also been assured that his tenure as chairman is ¬secure.
He has been at the helm for 30 years and has been encouraged to stay on by chief ¬shareholder Stan Kroenke.
“He has told me he wants me to stay and I am happy to do so,” said Hill-Wood, whose family have been involved at the club for three ¬generations.