Keown calls for less pressure on van Persie over Arsenal future

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown wants the club’s supporters to ease the pressure on Robin van Persie as the Netherlands international contemplates his future at the Emirates Stadium, ESPNhas reported.

Van Persie has a year left on his contract and recently met with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis over extending his stay in north London but no new deal has yet been signed. ESPN add that a range of clubs, including Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United, Serie A champions Juventus, La Liga pair Barcelona and Real Madrid and big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are monitoring the situation.

A bidding war may even break out between Anzhi and City, ESPN notes, as City are reportedly to offer van Persie £250,000 per week to move to the Etihad Stadium, while Anzhi will top that with £300,000 per week to take the 28-year-old to Russia.

Keown however feels that van Persie must be given the time and space to make up his mind. The former England defender added: “We need to give Robin time and not suffocate him. It is swapping the love for him here if he goes to another club. He might find it a little bit of a difficult transition which he does not want to make.

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