Serie A leaders join ever growing band of clubs pursuing Emirates Stadium goal machine.
Serie A table toppers Juventus have emerged as the latest side to take a keen interest in Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie with manager Antonio Conte earmarking a move for the Dutch international as he looks to bring in high profile signings to further boost his Turin side’s standing in European football.
After two successive seventh place finishes, and having gone almost a decade since a title success that wasn’t tainted by the ‘Calciopoli’ match fixing affair, Juventus find themselves top of the Serie A table having gone the first 20 games of the season undefeated. Conte is already making longer term plans to put his side back on the footballing map after years of controversy and sees a push to sign a player of Van Persie’s calibre as a statement of intent.
Arsene Wenger is still to secure his skipper’s signature on a new contract and come the summer the 28 year old will have just a year left on his Gunners contract, leaving the North London club in a problematic situation that could lead to Arsenal having to accept big offers for the striker as his value speedily decreases, the nearer he gets to running down his deal.
It was a similar state of affairs that led to Wenger accepting an offer for Samir Nasri last summer and the Emirates Stadium boss will hope to avoid a repeat occurrence whilst knowing that if he fails to guide Arsenal to a top four finish, at the very least, then the chances of warding off interest in his prized attacking asset become very slim indeed.
Juventus sit top of the table but are by no means a fluid attacking force. Much of this season’s success has been built on a rock solid defence, with Conte’s side conceding just 13 goals in 20 matches. The club have netted 33 goals thus far but a large percentage of these have come from midfield and wide areas from the likes of Simone Pepe and Claudio Marchisio.
Whilst Alessandro Matri has been a consistent force in front of goal, Mirko Vucinic however has struggled for form since his move to the club from Roma. Veteran Alessandro Del Piero is nearing the end of his glittering Juve career and Conte may well feel that Van Persie is the man to step into the breach to help push the Old Lady of Italian football onwards and upwards and reports in Italy suggest that the club’s owners will sanction a bid in the region of £25m for the Arsenal striker.