Arsenal won't break bank to keep Van Persie, warns chairman Hill-Wood

The Gunners are prepared to lose the PFA Player of the Year if his demands for a new contract mean the club cannot afford to keep the Dutch star at the Emirates
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has revealed that Arsenal will not break the bank to keep hold of star player Robin van Persie.

The Dutch hitman has been in imperious form this season, notching an impressive tally of 30 Premier League goals on his way to becoming PFA and FWA Player of the Year, and has attracted interest from champions Manchester City, Italian giants Juventus and wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.

The forward still has one year remaining on his contract at the Emirates, but despite holding contract talks with manager Arsene Wenger before reporting for Euro 2012 international duty with the Netherlands, the 29-year-old's future still remains unclear.

“He is vital to us and has been an extremely good captain,” Hill-Wood told The Sun.

“But if somebody comes along and offers Robin £250,000 a week then I am afraid we cannot compete with that.

“With players, you never know what they are going to do.

“Some players say they want silverware but when they have the chance to earn ­extraordinary money that has been pumped into the game, then you just have to hope they will stay ­because they are happy and loyal where they are."

Van Persie joined the Gunners back in 2004 for just £2.5 million and has since taken the mantle after the departure of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, and although Hill-Wood insists he will not make alterations to the club's strict wage structure to keep the Dutchman, he is hoping Van Persie's loyalty will be rewarded with a Premier League winner's medal next season.

“There are players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at Manchester United who have been loyal to one club but players like that are few and far between," he added.

“Hopefully we can reach ­agreement with Robin and ideally he will extend his contract.

“We have already brought in one new player in Lukas ­Podolski and I believe we will bring in more. I am confident we will, in fact.

“I just hope that Robin will be with us next season because I genuinely feel we can make a real challenge for the ­Premier League title.

“We had an atrocious start to last season but we recovered to finish third which was a marvellous achievement when you look at the problems that we had with ­injuries.”