By Sami Mokbel
Arsenal have given themselves a four-day window to resolve Robin van Persie’s future.
The Holland striker is entering the final 12 months of his contract and the Gunners are desperate to tie him to a new four-year deal worth in the region of £120,000 per week.
Arsenal have stood by Van Persie’s wish to postpone talks over a new deal until the end of the season – which falls on May 13 when they travel to West Bromwich Albion – but, as it stands, he is due to meet up with his international team-mates at a pre-Euro 2012 training camp in Switzerland on May 17.
Manager Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday: ‘Robin’s future will be sorted out at the end of the season. Do we want it done by the start of the European Championships? Yes.’
That leaves the north London club facing up to the prospect of trying to agree a deal with Van Persie and his advisors in four days.
Sportsmail understands there is a growing confidence among the Arsenal hierarchy that their captain will commit his future to the club. But whether they can thrash out a suitable package within those four days remains to be seen.
Holland would prefer their No 1 striker to be fully focused on their European Championship campaign, so conducting contract talks while on international duty is not a scenario Bert van Marwijk would be thrilled about.
Likewise, Arsenal are keen to avoid another summer of transfer speculation regarding one of their top talents.
There is also a fear within the Arsenal camp that a successful Euro 2012 for Van Persie and Holland will strengthen the resolve of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus to lure him away from the Emirates Stadium.
Van Persie is expected to win the PFA Player of the Year award on Sunday night but, with only one goal in his last six games, his goalscoring form has slipped.
The 28-year-old plays his 50th game of the season at Chelsea this afternoon and Wenger admitted: ‘I think it’s beyond expectation (to play 50 games) – and for a striker it’s massive.
‘It’s important for him to get a breather before the European Championships. Physically, he is good. He has a very healthy life, very focused on football – he takes care of everything.
‘That’s why he manages to play 50 games – he is like Thierry Henry in that respect. But when you play 50 games at that level you suffer a little bit.