There’s growing speculation, and I stress speculation, that Robin van Persie may stay at Arsenal & at the very least play out the remaining year of his contract.  We all know there is intense interest from both of the Mancunster clubs & the hold & cold interest from Juventus but I would personally like Arsenal & Arsène Wenger to take a stand on principle.

Forget the “problem” of losing a quality player for free next summer.  Let it happen.  Make van Persie play out the remainder of his contract.  If he’s a professional then he should be able to perform his footballing duties to the level required of him, especially as he is the damned club captain.

If RvP wants to sulk, then let him sulk, strip him of the captaincy & park him on the bench for a year for all I care.  He’d be 30 at the end of his contract next year & I highly doubt he’d get anything more than a 2-year contract with any club, maybe a 2-year with an option from somebody.  Wenger historically only offers one-year deals with 30-plus year old players, so this is probably weighing into RvP’s & his agent’s tactics, anyway.

If a few players can be offloaded (which has to be done anyway because of the 25-man squad rule), especially somebody on high wages like Arshavin, then Wenger & Arsenal can risk this strategy of making RvP play out his contract.  All this talk of players being unsettled is mainly agent & paperspeak anyway & normally only matter when the player is a nutter like Mario Balotelli or Carlos Tevez, etc.

Wenger can outline the club’s loyalty shown towards van Persie throughout his injury-riddled & sometimes scandal-prone career.  If van Persie still wants to leave then he can cock off to the reserves or the bench unless Wenger’s €20-25 million evaluation is met.  And as for Sir Rednose’s boo hooing over the fee (which is becoming commonplace these days as the bullying, dickheaded Scot laments this summer over several missed out players), he can eat a fat dick.

Anyway, this whole RvP business can be summed up well over at Goonerholic’s blog.

Wrapping up the rambling, Sébastian Squillaci, is being linked with a move to Olympiakos of Greece for a reported fee of £1 million.  If that’s true, get the money in a traveler’s check & cash the money ASAP before that thing bounces or they figure out Squillaci is only worth about a quarter of that.

On to the last official pre-season match against 1. FC Köln tomorrow and then the Premier League starts in earnest the following weekend.  I’ll be up early trying to find a feed of the match & I’ll try to formulate some match report template which will bedazzle your eyes & make you cream your shorts.  Or maybe just make you read it in calm, yet amazed contentedness.

Come on, you Gunners!

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures: Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (released- Watford), Pedro Botelho (Atletico Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (released), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Gavin Hoyte (released- Dagenham & Redbridge), Sean McDermott (released), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Arsenal reserves?)

Likely signings:  Mbaye Niang (Caen), Nuri Şahin (Real Madrid- loan)
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Celta Vigo, Galatasaray, AC Milan, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Rubin Kazan, Valencia-loan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers), Ryo Miyaichi (Bolton Wanderers- loan, Wigan Athletic- loan), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus), Robin van Persie (AC Milan/Juventus/Manchester City/Manchester United)

Possible signings: Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Kévin Mirallas (Olympiakos), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina), Mbaye Niang (Caen), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Corinthians), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Ki-Seung Yeung (Glasgow Celtic) 
Possible departures: Daniel Boateng (loan), Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Alex Song (Barcelona), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Southampton)

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