Sport

Arsenal brace for Van Persie wage talks

AFP

Arsenal are preparing to smash their current wage structure as they prepare to hold contract talks with captain Robin van Persie.

The Gunners’ sealed a rollercoaster season on Sunday by clinching a third place finish that gives them automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League group stage.

Now the north London giants have turned their attention to the key issue of trying to persuade Dutch striker Van Persie to extend his stay at the Emirates beyond his current deal which expires in 2013.

A clutch of clubs are keen to secure Van Persie, with newly crowned champions Manchester City able to offer the 28-year-old financial terms that would easily eclipse anything tabled by Arsenal.

But the <em>Daily Mail</em> reported Tuesday Van Persie, currently earning around £70&nbsp;000 per week, would be offered a three-year deal worth a weekly salary of £130&nbsp;000 plus a signing bonus of £5-million.

The newspaper reported Van Persie would meet Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and club chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Wednesday to discuss his future.

Meanwhile Van Persie, who is reportedly keen to stay in London, has praised the spirit shown by Arsenal to finish third after a season which featured a series of low points, including an 8-2 thrashing by Manchester United and an abject 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan in the Champions League.

“It was double important to finish third and also above Spurs. We knew what was at stake,” Van Persie said.

“We are definitely in the Champions League again, and that was the main target from the match ... It is incredible. We had to dig deep and come back on a couple of occasions where we were having a hard time,” the Dutchman said.

“At the start of the season, we had a very difficult period, but we bounced back very well from that.” &ndash; AFP

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