Van Persie greeted with tepid response in Arsenal friendly

Robin van Persie was given a half-hearted welcome when he appeared for Arsenal in a friendly victory over FC Koln, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Van Persie earlier this summer turned down a new contract with the Gunners – his current deal expires in less than a year – and sparked a transfer race between Juventus, Manchester City and Manchester United. It appears it is United who hold the upper hand, but as yet, no deal has been agreed and van Persie remains an Arsenal player.

The Netherlands striker came on as a substitute in the 4-0 victory, replacing new signing – and former Koln player – Lukas Podolski. When Thomas Vermaelen was substituted van Persie took over the captain’s armband and, despite the struggles of the summer, remains the official Arsenal skipper.

Vermaelen had earlier scored the opening goal of the game, meeting Per Mertesacker’s flick after Santi Cazorla’s corner. Podolski made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled and quickly added his second and Arsenal’s third shortly before half-time. A fourth goal arrived on the hour mark from Ivory Coast winger Gervinho.

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