Robin van Persie has been left at home away from Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia because of the uncertainty surrounding his future - but the Dutchman will have the chance to watch his current club take on his potential future employers in Beijing from afar as the Gunners go head to head with Manchester City at the Beijing National Stadium today.
The Premier League leading scorer last time round sent shockwaves through north London earlier this month with his declaration that he would not extending his contract with Arsenal beyond next summer.
With City said to be leading the race from rivals Manchester United and Juventus the Gunners will at least look to land a blow of their own as they continue their preparations for the new season with a host of key players still missing.
New signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski are absent from the tour as they continue to rebuild their fitness after a break following Euro 2012, while Nicklas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin are also absent.
Arsenal look likely to continue using an experimental side similar to the one that beat a Malaysia XI 2-1 on Tuesday, with youngsters Francis Coquelin and Kyle Bartley and Thomas Eisfeld likely to feature at some point.
Manchester City have been surprisingly quiet in the transfer window so far, something which prompted manager Roberto Mancini to aim a thinly veiled dig at the club’s hierarchy yesterday - although that could change soon as Van Persie edges closer to the Etihad Stadium.
While there have been no new arrivals the Italian still has a strong squad to call upon – and if all else fails they have the support of Hollywood star Jackie Chan, who turned up to support City after the arrived in China yesterday.