Arsenal have admitted that Robin van Persie’s exit claims did not come as a surprise to the North London side, and that £13 million signing Olivier Giroud was brought to the Emirates in the assumption that Van Persie would leave over the summer.
Van Persie, whose 30 goals propelled Arsenal to a third-place finish last term, announced last week that he would not be signing a contract extension at the club despite manager Arsene Wenger’s attempts to strengthen the squad over the summer with the buys of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
Wenger still hasn’t given up hope on convicing Van Persie to stay, but Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi admitted that Giroud’s purchase was made keeping Van Persie’s possible exit in mind.
“Was the recruitment of Giroud made to compensate for his Van Persie’s departure? Yes, we worked to avoid being cornered,” Grimandi told le10sport.com.
“We want him to stay home but he is left with one year on his contract so it is complicated. At Arsenal, there is a healthy atmosphere, he’s been here for eight years and he has a real commitment to the club.”
Grimandi also was of the suggestion that the Gunners’ Dutch skipper would be sold if a right offer came along, adding: If there is a great offer and if he wants to leave, it will be difficult to keep him.”