Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he let Dutch striker Robin van Persie leave to Manchester United in a controversial move due to the Dutchman’s age at that time.
van Persie, who was the best striker in the league at that moment, had left to Manchester United in the summer of 2012 and criticized Arsene Wenger for the way he handled the situation. Then 29-year old van Persie still had one year left in his contract but Wenger had nodded for a controversial £24 million which is one of the worst possible decisions in his managerial career.
Robin went on to win the Premier League title with Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson and has finished as the top scorer in the league as he helped Manchester United to title glory with an excellent goal in 2012-13 season. Many have compared the present situation of Alexis Sanchez to that of van Persie but Wenger revealed that will not be the case with the Chilean.
Wenger said: ‘I let Van Persie go in the last year of his contract because Van Persie was 29, going on 30 and he was signing a long-term contract.
‘That is not the case with Alexis. I personally think he will sign and stay here.’
Alexis Sanchez has a contract with Arsenal till 2018 but the club have failed to tie him down to a new contract despite extended talks over the past year. He has been the best player for the club this season and is one of the best players in the Premier League.
The Gunners are keen to break their wage structures to keep the Chilean at the club for an extended period and Wenger believes that they are close to reaching a deal and has confirmed that he will ensure that the Chilean will play next season even if he doesn’t sign a new deal in summer rather than selling him to a direct rival.
‘Even if he doesn’t sign a new deal, I will make him stay? Yes. Would I rather keep him than sell to a Premier League rival? Yes.’