Robin van Persie has rejected the offer of a new Arsenal contract, the striker announced via his official Web site on Wednesday.
The Netherlands international has a year left on his current deal with the English Premier League club, who could now be tempted to cash in on their prize asset, rather than see him leave for nothing on a Bosman free transfer at the end of next season.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract,” Van Persie, who scored 30 Premier League goals last season, said on Wednesday.
“You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision, and I will always respect your opinions,” added the 28-year-old, whose performances last season saw him named Player of the Year by both his fellow professionals in the Premier League and the Football Writers’ Association.
Premier League champions Manchester City and Italian title-holders Juventus are among the clubs to have been repeatedly linked with signing the Dutchman. Van Persie added he had met with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the end of last season to discuss his future, but had been disappointed by the answers he had received regarding the Gunners’ ambitions.
Since signing from Dutch side Feyenoord in 2004, Van Persie has won just one major trophy with Arsenal — the 2005 FA Cup.
It is a poor return for a player of his talent and he said it was a desire to win silverware that was behind his decision to leave the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal responded to Van Persie’s announcement with a statement of their own.
“We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfill his commitments to the club,” the statement said.