Thursday, 9 February 2012

Real Madrid CF join FC Barcelona in race to sign Robin van Persie - report


Real Madrid are reportedly ready to join Barcelona in the race to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie this summer.

Manchester City are also believed to be keen on the 28-year-old, who now has less than eighteen months left on his existing contract at Emirates Stadium and is unwilling to discuss a new deal until the end of the season at the earliest.

Earlier this week, Barcelona refused to rule out a move for the Netherlands international, although they had insisted talks had not taken place.

But according to Marca, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is keen on luring the Dutchman to the Bernabeu at the end of the season when he will have just twelve months left on his contract.

Although Mourinho's own future in the Spanish capital is in doubt, he is understood to have told his employers that Van Persie would be a perfect addition to his squad - despite Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believed to be considering a summer move to sign Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

Any move for Van Persie - or Aguero - will likely lead to Gonzalo Higuain being offloaded, with Chelsea believed to be keen on a deal for the £40million-rated Argentine.

A recent report in a rival Spanish publication had claimed Van Persie was keen on a move to Camp Nou to be reunited with former Arsenal team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu at the weekend insisted the club were yet to speak to either the north London club or the player's agent, but speaking to Sport, he refused to deny the European champions were interested in signing the forward at the end of the season.

"There is nothing going on at the moment," he said.

"There are some rumours, but this is not the right time to talk about Van Persie.

"We have to focus on our performances on the pitch."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows he faces the prospect of being forced to sell his skipper in the summer if a new deal is not agreed, in order to avoid losing him for free next year. But Van Persie hinted last month that his future may still be with the north London club after claiming that his family has settled well in the capital.

"We love the life in London and I enjoy watching my kids grow up here," he said.

"They grow up like the English kids with good manners and values of England.

"The place where we live, just outside the city, is fantastic. We have everything we want.

"The English people are so incredibly polite where I live. People are nice here. That makes life a real pleasure.

"My children have become more English than Dutch. They have taken up the culture and values of England.

"It makes me melt at times when I see how well my children are doing here. When Shaqueel has half-term with school, he does not want to go back to the Netherlands any more."

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