Pressure on Arsenal to secure Robin Van Persie after PFA win

Apr 23, 2012
Bill Mann

Gunners urged to sign him up fast, as PSG hunt Premier Leauge strikers and Liverpool chase Nolito and

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AFTER Robin Van Persie was named the PFA player of the year yesterday the great and the good have been lining up to urge Arsenal to tie him down to a new contract as soon as possible. Speculation over the Dutchman's future has been raging all season and unless he signs a new deal with the Gunners soon they face losing him on a free transfer next summer.

He has been linked to big-spending Manchester City and spotted in Barcelona, sparking fears that he will walk out on the Gunners in a year.

And after handing him the PFA award on Sunday Ruud Gullit said Van Persie was "vital" to Arsenal's future success as they hunt their first silverware since 2005, and former Gunners skipper Alan Smith agreed, saying that Arsene Wenger "really needs to" hold on to him.

Now former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has added his voice to the chorus. He told Sky Sports: "He is very important to the club and it is not every day you can get a guy who can score over 30 goals in a season. There was a lot of competition at the time and we are very fortunate he signed for us. I was delighted and he has proved the point because he has been such a prolific goalscorer for the club."

Meanwhile Liverpool are facing up to the possibility that controversial striker Luis Suarez may head across the channel to join Carlo Ancelotti's revolution at Paris St Germain.

According to the Daily Mail, PSG are desperate to sign a Premier League striker and Ancelotti has earnmarked Suarez and Edin Dzeko. With a reported £80m in his war chest this summer, Ancelotti will chase the pair with the Mail claiming that he stands more chance of landing Dzeko than he does Suarez.

The former has failed to settle with Manchester City since arriving from Wolfsburg in 2010 and it's believed the Bosnian striker could agree terms with PSG as early as next month. Suarez, on the other hand, is more happy with life at Anfield and in addition Liverpool have made it clear they want to keep hold of the Uruguay frontman.

If Suarez does stay at Anfield he may find himself playing alongside midfielder Nolito who is set to leave Benfica at the end of the season. According to Portuguese newspaper Record he will be available for around £15m and Liverpool are favourites to clinch his signature as Kenny Dalglish seeks to bolster a midfield that used to contain players like Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso but now includes Jay Spearing and Stewart Downing.

Elsewhere, Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck will pledge his loyalty to the Red Devils this week by signing on for another five years at Old Trafford. According to the 21-year-old Welbeck has reached an agreement with United that will see him treble his wages to £45,000-a-week in a deal that will put a smile on fans' faces following the disappointment of Sunday's 4-4 draw at home to Everton.

Welbeck has made a name for himself this season with his shooting skills, netting 12 times (including once against Everton), and United boss Alex Ferguson apparently sees the England frontman as a long-term prospect. With Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen heading for the exit at the end of the season, Welbeck is seen as the future at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile the Mirror reports that United are preparing to pounce for Leighton Baines. Ferguson apparently believes the Everton left-back is the man to replace Patrice Evra as the Frenchman approaches his 31st birthday.

United believe they can bag Baines for as little as £5m as Everton struggle to balance their books. The 27-year-old England defender joined Everton from Wigan in 2007 and though he sat out yesterday's match against United because of a hamstring niggle, the Mirror says "Ferguson has been monitoring him for the past two years".

Uruguayan Edinson Cavani's future at Napoli remains shrouded in doubt as he tells Sky Sport Italia he doesn't know where he'll be playing his football next season. The 25-year-old has been linked to both Manchester City and Chelsea in recent months and Cavani has admitted he's unsure if either club will make a bid for him in the summer.

"I don't know, [Napoli] will deal with this sort of thing," the striker replied when asked if he was on the move. "The club will think about the rest and they know what to do. For as long as I am at Napoli, I will continue to give my all for this team."

Finally, the Mail reports that Gareth Bale is "unlikely" to join Barcelona this summer after the Spanish giants baulked at the asking price for the Spurs winger. The Lilywhites want £40m for the 22-year-old Welshman but according to the Mail Barcelona value Bale at no more than £16.5m.

As a result the reigning European champions have turned their attention to Valencia winger Jordi Alba with a £10.5m deal about to be brokered between the two Spanish clubs.

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