• Arsenal captain announces plan on personal website
• Player disagrees on way 'Arsenal should move forward'
Robin van Persie has dealt Arsenal a devastating blow – and opened the way for a move to Manchester City – by announcing he will not extend his contract before it expires next summer.
The Holland international, instrumental in Arsenal's qualification for the Champions League with 30 Premier League goals last season, threw Arsène Wenger's pre-season plans into turmoil on Wednesday with the revelation via his own website.
Arsenal have insisted their captain is not for sale and said on Wednesday night they "are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the club". But Wenger, mindful of the damage caused to the start of last season by the late departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fábregas, may sell the 28-year-old rather than lose him on a free transfer in 12 months' time. The club's statement added that they are planning for "next season with Arsenal's best interests in mind".
Wenger has signed the Germany striker Lukas Podolski and £13m Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud this summer and, writing on his Eurosport blog only on Tuesday, said it was imperative that Arsenal kept Van Persie "at all costs". "I have always supported him even in the hardest times, and I hope he will end his career at Arsenal," the Arsenal manager added.
That has been undermined by Van Persie's response and there appears little prospect of the striker changing his mind. He insists doubts over Arsenal's ability to end a seven-year wait for a trophy, not money, is the primary factor in rejecting a contract extension.
"As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the boss [Wenger] and Mr [Ivan] Gazidis [the chief executive] after the season," stated the Dutchman, who is on holiday. "This was a meeting about the club's future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
"I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.
"Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don't want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward. I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions."
Van Persie is coveted by several leading European clubs, including the Italian champions Juventus, but City's interest has been known for several months and, despite recent denials by their manager, Roberto Mancini, they remain keen on another raid on Arsenal. The Premier League champions also have the financial strength to test Arsenal's resolve to tie the striker to the final year of his contract.
Arsenal's captain added: "I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal. Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all [and more] on and off the pitch. I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the past eight years. As soon as Mr Gazidis is back from his two-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments." Arsenal denied Gazidis was on holiday.
The club said in response: "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." Read More
انسخ الكود التالى و ضعه فى موقعك او مدونتك.