Wenger continued: “There is no reason why a top player, a big champion would want a move to Serie A in terms of the prestige of the league, the level of play or financial considerations.”
A clearly relaxed and confident sounding Arsenal manager then added: “If he moves there, I will buy you a Caramello,” – which apparently is a type of popular Italian ice-cream.
Wenger’s bullishness will come as good news to Arsenal fans who had begun to fear that the signs were there that the club’s captain and most prolific striker looked increasingly set to move on.
The signing of Lukas Podolski and the heavily tipped imminent capture of Frenchman Olivier Giroud (both incidentally, like van Persie, are left-footed forwards), made it look like the club might be preparing for life without the Dutchman, in many fans eyes.
There fears were intensified when former Arsenal striker Alan smith said as much to Talksport earlier this week, before adding: “If he does leave then it sends out a really bad message that Arsenal can’t keep hold of their best players.”
But with Wenger having now dismissed Serie A as a serious option, and van Persie’s influential father declaring that it’s “impossible” that he’ll go to another premier league club, realistically that leaves only Real Madrid and Barcelona as viable options for the Dutchman, should he wish to leave the London club. And neither of the Spanish teams has as yet made an official bid for the player.
Hopefully, for Arsenal fans, Arsene Wenger might be making cheeky offers of ice-cream to Spanish journalists at the Euros in the coming days, as he tells them that van Persie won’t be coming to La Liga any time soon.