Where to next for RVP?
The summer transfer window is wide open and history is looking ever more likely to repeat itself. Last year saw Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas turn their backs on the club that made them the players they are today, and Robin Van Persie appears destined to follow their example.
The prospect of silverware outside of North London seems to be the greatest motivation in seeking a move, but turning 29 next month, this could be Van Persie’s last chance to land one more big payday. This is especially so with Manchester City as one of the interested parties.
Money aside, let’s take a look at some of the factors that come into play when deciding which potential employer is best suited for England’s Player of the Year.
If Arsenal were to have their way Van Persie would be plying his trade in Turin next season. Juventus are currently the Italian champions and remain one of the front runners for his signature. Reports suggest they are his preferred destination in order to keep a backlash from Gunners fans to a minimum.
The current holders of Serie A are the favourites to retain their crown next year, and with plans to invest further in their squad they could mount a serious challenge in the Champions League.
With rivals Milan selling two of their assets in Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovich, competition for Italy’s top prizes seem to be fading, further enhancing the Bianconeri’s ability to provide medals for the Dutchman.
All might well be enough to persuade Van Persie to pull on a black and white jersey this year, but is Italy such an attraction these days? Most world class footballers are choosing England and Spain with a growing amount even opting for Germany and France ahead of Italy’s Serie A.
The recurring corruption that is tarnishing Italy’s game should also be enough for Van Persie to decline the Italian football giant.
The other two remaining suitors come from the English Premier League. Arsenal will be determined not to sell to an English rival but we have seen in recent years if the money is right then Arsenal will… to Manchester City anyway.
The sky blues ended a 35-year wait for silverware in 2011 with victory in the FA Cup and were able to follow that up this year with the Premier League title. These are the two trophies Van Persie will have his eyes on having been chasing them for eight years with Arsenal. The current champions of England will start the new campaign as favourites to defend their crown, albeit with fierce competition coming from Chelsea and of course, the red half of Manchester.
With City’s Abu Dhabi owners heavily backing Roberto Mancini in the transfer market it seems City will be among England’s top clubs for some time to come. Talk has surfaced that City’s moneymen want players out the door before more can come in, which could hinder Mancini’s pursuit of the Arsenal hitman.
This could indicate one eye being on the Financial Fair Play rule, but so far City’s well paid fringe players have been reluctant to take a pay cut and agree to a move.
The blue side of Manchester currently boast the most powerful forward line in England with Tevez, Aguero, Balotelli, and Dzeko all competing for a spot in Mancini’s first eleven.
Question is where does Van Persie fit in? Mancini has recently told the press he plans on keeping hold of all his strikers, and if this is the case Van Persie’s playing time could be limited were he to opt to ply his trade at Etihad.
The remaining serious contender for Van Persie’s services is none other than the most successful English team of all time, Manchester United. The Red Devils seem determined to land their man and get one over on their noisy neighbours before a ball is even kicked.
Many argued last term that Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad was the weakest that the Premier League had seen since its debut season in 1992. I for one would have to agree.
It is a great compliment to the most successful manager in British football that his team ran the billionaires across town so close, losing out on a 20th League title on goal difference. Ferguson, season after season, is able to get the maximum out of his troops while utilising his entire squad to compete on all fronts in England and Europe.
He has repeatedly seen off challenges from big spending clubs such as Blackburn and Chelsea. If there is one reason to choose Manchester United, that reason is Sir Alex Ferguson.
The squad has been improved by the much needed arrivals of Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell thus far and they continue in their pursuit of highly rated Brazilian Lucas Moura. While outlining their intent to wrestle their crown from neighbours City, they are continually ensuring the future remains bright by recruiting such young promising talent.
Manchester United remain one of the favourites for Europe’s top club prize, therefore trophies are highly likely for Van Persie, were he to make the move to Old Trafford. A potential strike partnership of Rooney and Van Persie is mouth-watering and a combination that could propel United to greatness in Europe for a fourth time in their history.
I think the opportunity to link up with Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson will be the deciding factor in the race for Robin Van Persie’s signature. If, of course, money is not in his thoughts.