Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has revealed he will not be signing a new Gunners contract, and now looks set to leave the club.
The star striker announced the news on his official website, citing a disagreement over the future direction of the club as his main reason for declining the contract extension.
Van Persie's statement on his website said: "As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the Boss and Mr. Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.
I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.
I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC. Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch. I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last 8 years. As soon as Mr. Gazidis is back from his 2-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments."
A host of Europe's top clubs have been linked with Dutchman, including Manchester City and Serie 'A' giants Juventus. Van Persie will hold a meeting with the Arsenal hierarchy in two weeks time, which will likely determine the terms of his transfer.
The Gunners are unlikely to want to keep Van Persie with just a year left on his current contract, as the Dutch star would be able to leave for nothing at the end of next season.
If sold this summer, Arsenal would at least be able to recoup some transfer fee for their talisman and club captain.