With uncertainty about the future of the Arsenal captain rife, manger Arsene Wenger has left Robin Van Persie out of his 25 man squad for their pre season tour of Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
The Dutchman was voted PFA Player of the Year following an impressive haul of 30 Premier League goals last season but shocked the Gunners faithful by declaring that he wished to leave in pursuit of more regular silverware and would not be renewing his contract beyond the end of the coming season.
Wenger will be eager to avoid a repeat of the events of last summer during which both Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas left the club in similar circumstances as they approached the ends of their contracts. Indeed it had appeared that Wenger had chosen to take a hard line with the 29 year old, with reports last week suggesting that Van Persie had been told that he would be required to remain with the club to honour the last year of his contract, despite the risk of him leaving for nothing come the end of the season.
However, this latest turn of events suggests that Wenger may have accepted that the striker will soon be added to the list of high profile players who have left the Emirates in recent seasons. A number of clubs are reported to be interested and although recent bids from Juventus as well as both Manchester City and United have been firmly rejected, the financial firepower of these suitors cannot be denied and a satisfactory deal could soon be struck.
Fans of the Gunners will be clinging to the hope that van Persie will repay the faith the club showed in him during many an injury plagued season but know that they face the very real prospect of another key player departing for pastures new having run out of patience with Wenger’s Arsenal.