Robin Van Persie’s blistering form of 2011 has shown no signs of ceasing this year, with the Arsenal striker scoring seven goals in as many games since the turn of the year.
There is no doubting that he is absolutely essential to Arsenal’s cause, but with 18 months remaining on his contract, and the Dutch forward keen to delay talks on a new deal, the world’s biggest clubs are on red alert.
It now looks as though Real Madrid hope to steal a march on the chasing pack, with influential Spanish paper Marca revealing Jose Mourinho’s admiration for the player, though it is thought that Los Blancos would make a move for Van Persie even if Mourinho leaves as expected, at the end of the season.
Mourinho is believed to have failed in a bid to sign the technical forward during his time at Inter, and his sizzling form since overcoming injury woes has seen his price tag rocket as he emerges as a truly world class talent.
For that reason, only a handful of clubs in the world would likely be able to stump up the cash to tempt Arsenal into doing business, and Van Persie is believed to prefer a move abroad should he leave the Emirates, as not to damage his bond with the Arsenal fans.
In terms of his future with the North London club, much could depend on Arsenal’s Champions League progression this season, along with their overall Premier League placing and the kind of players who are attracted to the club in the summer.
Van Persie is keen to get an idea of the ambitions of the club before committing his long-term future to them, desperate to add European silverware to his collection of English domestic accolades.
His best opportunity to do so could come with a summer switch to Real Madrid, that would likely net the Gunners close to £40m.