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Van Persie set for Emirates exit
Arsenal must decide whether to cash in on wantaway striker Robin van Persie after the captain insisted he had to leave the Emirates Stadium to win trophies.
Holland international Van Persie on Wednesday night issued a carefully-worded statement on his official website revealing he would not be penning an extension to his current deal with the Gunners, which expires next summer. The 28-year-old netted 37 goals in all competitions last season as Arsenal eventually secured third place.
Manager Arsene Wenger recently declared the club must retain their talisman "at all costs", but - despite meeting with Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the end of last season and the signings of Germany striker Lukas Podolski as well as France forward Olivier Giroud - Van Persie remains unconvinced he can fulfil his ambitions with the club he joined from Feyenoord in 2004.
Van Persie will turn 29 in August, and the next contract he agrees could well be his last at the highest level.
Both Serie A winners Juventus and Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City are said to be ready to test Arsenal's resolve with a £20million-plus bid.
However, the Gunners - who last summer saw both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri sold - could also look to hold Van Persie to the terms of his deal.
A brief statement on the club's official website read: "Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the club. We have to respect Robin's decision not to renew his contract. We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal's best interests in mind."
Arsenal are set to tour Asia at the end of the month, and will also play a game in Nigeria. Whether or not their captain will now be part of the travelling squad remains to be seen.
Van Persie, though, made it perfectly clear disagreements over the direction of the club means he does not want any part of Arsenal's long-term future.
In an open letter to fans on his website, www.robinvanpersie.com, he wrote: "I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the boss and Mr Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club's future strategy and their policy."