Nou Camp side set to make offer for Emirates Stadium star.
Spanish source Sport have revealed today that Barcelona believe they can sign Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie for €25m (£20.8m) and that they will join fellow La Liga giants Real Madrid in the race for the Dutch international this summer. Sport feel that the North London club will not risk losing the player for a reduced rate next January or indeed seeing the 28 year old leave for nothing at the end of the 2012/13 season and may well then look to cash in on their skipper if he refuses to sign a new contract at the end of the season.
Having seen his side fall some distance behind their Bernabeu rivals Nou Camp boss Pep Guardiola may well feel he could do with an attacking injection as his side currently relies very heavily on Lionel Messi for goal-scoring output. The Argentine has notched up 43 goals in all competitions and the club’s next highest scorer, former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas, is way behind with 15.
Spanish international David Villa had been a fairly inconsistent performer prior to his season ending injury, suffered at the FIFA World Club Cup, and that may have led Guardiola to consider alternative striking options.
Van Persie has been in fine form over the past 18 months and having suffered with injury concerns for the first few years of his Gunners career the former Feyenoord man has now become Arsenal’s most prized asset and Wenger will hope that he can persuade his captain to sign a new contract but having seen the club go seven seasons without silverware a move to the Catalan club may prove very tempting indeed.
Real Madrid’s reported interest may also appeal and it’s certainly true that Jose Mourinho doesn’t have a great many orthodox striking options to select from at present with his only two recognised strikers coming in the form of Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, and Van Persie would appear to be a more attractive prospect than the players in the ‘Special One’s’ Bernabeu armoury.
Arsenal supporters have grown frustrated at the club’s reluctance to spend freely on new additions and even after the loss of first team regulars Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, Wenger only used a small portion of funds made from sales on players who have failed to fill the void created by their departures.