Arsenal are prepared to keep hold of Robin van Persie, even if he doesn't sign a new contract. The Sunday Mirror says the Gunners fear striker Van Persie will not sign a new deal, but are prepared to hold him to the final year of his contract rather than sell.

However, in the same way the sold Cesc Fabregas and Sami Nasri last summer, they will move him on if it becomes clear the Dutchman is willing to force the issue.

Juventus and Manchester City are leading the chase, while Real Madrid are also watching developments.

However, only the Italians can offer a clear escape route.

City are committed to selling before they buy and are ready to offload Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez, while Real need to cash in on Gonzalo Higuain before they can go shopping.

Juve are ready to offer £25million-plus and want Van Persie as a stellar signing as they prepare to return to the Champions League as Italian champions, but they will not match the personal terms of above £200,000-a-week that City can pay.