Arsenal new signing Lukas Podolski has revealed that he wants star forward Robin van Persie to stay at the Emirates Stadium, The Sun reports.
At the moment, Podolski is on an extended break following his participation at Euro 2012 in Poland-Ukraine earlier this summer. He is scheduled to join the Gunners’ pre-season training efforts later this month.
With that said, the chances of Podolski playing alongside RVP are problematic following the Dutchman’s refusal to ink a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
The Holland international bagged 30 goals and nine assists in 38 league appearances last term, accounting for 52.7% of the Gunners’ goals in the English Premier League.
RVP may not be a one-man team, but he’s surely a one-man wrecking machine.
“All I can say is Van Persie had an amazing record last season and hopefully there is a way he can stay with Arsenal,” said Podolski.
“It would be great to play with him, but obviously this is not in my control.”
Now then, Podolski enjoyed an exceptional individual campaign in 2011-12 with 1. FC Köln, tallying 18 goals and seven assists in 29 German Bundesliga matches.
1. FC Köln were relegated after finishing in 17th place in the Bundesliga table despite Podolski being responsible for an eye-opening 64.1% of Die Geißböcke league goals.
In addition to adding Podolski to the cavalry, Arsenal were able to sign France international striker Olivier Giroud for £13 million.
Did the Gunners sign the Frenchman in anticipation of Van Persie’s departure? The answer is yes, according to Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi.
“Was the recruitment of Giroud made to compensate for his Van Persie’s departure? Yes, we worked to avoid being cornered,” Grimandi told le10sport.com.
“We want him to stay home but he is left with one year on his contract so it is complicated.”
Will Podolski and Giroud play alongside Robin van Persie in north London next season?
Doumbia wants West Bromwich Albion move
Stade Rennais midfielder Tongo Doumbia is close to sealing a move to West Bromwich Albion despite interest from Premier League giants Arsenal, ESPN Soccernet understands.
“I felt more desire there [at West Brom],” Doumbia said. “Obviously, it is less glamorous than Arsenal but I’ll be able to continue my progress. I will have more chances to play.
“This [the Premier League] is a championship that thrills everybody. I hope this is the beginning of a great adventure.”
The pairing of the aforementioned Doumbia and France international Yann M’Vila bossed the midfield for Stade Rennais in 2011-12, leading Les Rouges et Noirs to a 6th place finish in Ligue 1.
The French outfit are seeking at least €2.5 million for Doumbia.