Arsenal aim to start talks on new Van Persie deal
ARSENAL are hopeful of finally opening contract talks with Robin van Persie and his representatives over the next month.
The club captain and talisman is out of contract next year and has so far refused to publicly discuss his long-term future, but the indications are that he is now prepared to hold provisional talks with the Arsenal hierarchy.
It remains unlikely that any deal will be finalised before the end of the season, but Van Persie's willingness to listen would still be an extremely positive step forward for the club.
It is understood that Arsenal are considering an offer whereby Van Persie would be paid a 'renewal' fee and see a significant rise on his current salary of around £80,000 a week.
Van Persie will be aware that other players of comparable world-class quality are on around double that wage, with Arsenal considering a rise that would take him beyond £100,000 a week.
The Gunners have around £55million available to invest in the squad and must balance the desire to renew Van Persie's contract with having funds to spend on new players this summer.
Wenger's budget includes player wages, creating a quandary over how much money is directed towards the renewal of contracts.
Even if Van Persie does not accept the likely offer from Arsenal of a four-year contract, his departure this summer is not a foregone conclusion.
Arsenal seriously considered holding Samir Nasri to his contract last summer and, if the same scenario arose with Van Persie, there will be a strong argument to keep him for another season, even if he could then leave for nothing in 2013.
A significant squad overhaul is under consideration this summer, with Andrei Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott in the final 18 months of their contracts.