Merson warns van Persie faces tough Arsenal reception

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has warned Robin van Persie that he will face a harsh reception the next time he steps onto the field at the Emirates Stadium after van Persie revealed he would not be signing a new contract with the Gunners, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Merson, who played for Arsenal between 1985 and 1997, insisted that few players leave the club and look back on their decision with anything other than regret, and added that he was a disappointed by van Persie’s decision as the supporters.

He said: “Not many players leave Arsenal, very rarely, and don’t regret it. It’s an unbelievable club. I’m a bit gutted really. He’s burnt his bridges. If he comes back and they don’t sell him the fans are going to slaughter him.

Van Persie’s contract runs until the summer of 2013 but after months of speculation the 28-year-old confirmed on Wednesday that he did not want to sign a new contract with the club, while Arsenal have responded by stressing they expect van Persie to see out the last year of his existing deal despite a number of suitors keen to sign the Netherlands international.

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