Van Persie turns down new Arsenal contract

Arsenal's Robin van Persie has scored 37 goals this season. (FILE)

Robin van Persie has rejected the offer of a new Arsenal contract, the striker announced via his official website on Wednesday.

The Dutch 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 37 goals in 48 appearance for Arsenal last season, said Wednesday.

"You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions."

Premier League champions Manchester City and Juventus are among the clubs to have been repeatedly linked with signing the Dutchman.

Van Persie said he had had a great season but added his goal had been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.

He said he had met with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the end of the season to discuss the club's future but it become clear to him that "we, in many aspects, disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward."

Van Persie added he expected to meet Gazidis again when he returned from a two-week holiday in the United States and would provide an update "if and when there are more developments".

Arsenal insist they expect Van Persie to "fulfil his commitments to the club" despite announcing that he will not extend his stay at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger must now decide whether to cash in on a player who has no intention of extending his Arsenal career beyond next summer or allow him to walk away for nothing after one more season.
The response from the club to Van Persie's revelation suggests that they may look to retain the services of the former Feyenoord player.
A statement on the club's official website read: "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 fulfil his commitments to the club.
"We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal's best interests in mind."
Wenger has had to cope with a number of key men leaving in recent years, with midfield duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri the most recent to head for the Emirates exits.