Date:25th July 2012 at 11:52pm
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Two loyal players dedicated to the Gooner cause....

Two loyal players dedicated to the Gooner cause....

Arsenal have given an indication that Robin Van Persie could well be on his way out of the Emirates this season, despite Arsene Wenger saying he’d be happy for him to stay. The North London club have given the Dutch striker his usual number 10 in the latest squad numbers, but tellingly have yet to issue new signing Lukas Podolski one.

The Telegraph explains:

Arsenal have given the strongest hint yet that they are prepared to sell Robin van Persie after omitting to designate a squad number to Lukas Podolski, their new £11 million signing from Cologne.

Van Persie was again listed as No 10 in the list and, despite allocating numbers for the rest of the Arsenal squad, the club said that the shirt number of Podolski, who is also a striker, was “yet to be confirmed”.
The Germany international wears the No 10 shirt for his country and had it allocated to him at Cologne, too.

Arsène Wenger has left Van Persie out of Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia and the club are now ready to sell, providing a minimum valuation of £20 million is met.

The logic behind the Telegraph’s thinking is that by omitting to give Podolski a number they are simply waiting for Van Persie’s departure before giving the former Cologne striker the number 10.

United’s bid for Van Persie was made public by the North Londoners, forcing Sir Alex Ferguson to admit an offer had been made. United’s £15 million bid may only be £5 million away from Arsenal’s valuation, but there’s also the huge wages RVP would expect, plus other newspapers note Wenger may actually play hardball and demand around £30 million should a bidding war begin.

The smart money is on City’s billions prevailing, although Arsenal fans were still hoping the Dutchman could be persuaded to stay, this latest twist makes that seem highly unlikely.