Raiola advises Van Persie against moving to Italy

The flamboyant agent has voiced his opinion that Serie A is in decline, and has urged the Arsenal man to think twice before moving there after speculation linked him to Juventus
Mino Raiola, who represents players such as Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has advised Robin van Persie not to leave Arsenal for a move to Serie A, which he feels is "third-rate" and in decline.

The Gunners are determined to hold on to their skipper, but the Netherlands international is continually being linked with a move away from the club, with Juventus keeping a close eye on the 28-year-old's situation.

However, Raiola feels that a move to Serie A would be a step in the wrong direction for the attacker, should he leave the Emirates Stadium.

"If he really wants to leave Arsenal for Juventus, he should do everything in his power to make it happen. He should think hard about whether he wants a move to Italy, though," the flamboyant agent told NOS.

"Mario [Balotelli] could join any Italian top club if he wants as well, but you have to take a good look at whether this is the right move.

"In my opinion, the Italian league is only getting worse at this point. Italy should have improved their infrastructure and all that some 10 years ago. I'm talking about stadiums, but also about other facilities.

"I'm not afraid to say that Serie A a third-rate league now. When I started as an agent, Italy was pretty much the promised land. Joining an English club was a punishment.

"Things have changed, though. Players now prefer England, Spain and Germany over Italy, and rightly so."

Raiola's comments come only days after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's stated that Serie A is not good enough for Van Persie.