By Greg Stobart
Manchester City will refuse to break the bank in order to bring wantaway Arsenal striker Robin van Persie to Eastlands this summer.
The Gunners skipper has revealed he will not sign an extension to his current deal, which expires next summer with the north London club, in a strongly worded statement on his personal website.
It had been widely reported that Van Persie, who turns 29 next month, had already agreed terms, in principle, on a £225k-a-week contract with City that would see him follow the path trodden by both Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, who moved from Arsenal to the blue half of Manchester this time last year.
Goal.com understands, however, that the Premier League champions are unwilling to go above their basic ceiling of £198k-a-week, earned by the likes of Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, for a player with a history of serious knee and ankle injuries.
With Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations coming into play from the start of next season, City are keen to be seen to adhering to the European governing body’s new legislation which will force clubs to break even – within a £4.2m leeway – over a rolling two-year monitoring period.
City’s refusal to make Van Persie their top earner outright, will test the Dutchman’s pronouncement that money was not the main factor behind his decision to quit Emirates Stadium, following seven years without a trophy.
Arsenal are determined to keep hold of last season’s Premier League top goalscorer at all costs, but while City remain keen to do a deal they will only do so if they deem it to make financial sense. Already they have been dissuaded from following up on their interest in Edinson Cavani by Napoli’s £40m valuation of the Uruguay international striker.
Moreover, City’s hierarchy are currently more preoccupied with ironing out the futures of current members of their playing staff including David Silva and manager Robert Mancini, believing they will still be able to prise Van Persie away from Arsenal later in the summer.
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