BEIRUT

Football

Conflicting reports over van Persie's future in Italy

A Tuesday March 6, 2012 photo shows Arsenal's Robin Van Persie at the Emirates Stadium, London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

BEIRUT: Claims in the Italian media that Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has signed a contract with Serie A champions Juventus have been undermined by the player’s representatives, who have moved to distance the Dutchman with a move to Turin.

Fifa agent Fabio Parisi, based in Milan, told Italian TV that the player signed an agreement with the Old Lady some time ago, adding that it has been “locked away” in a desk for a while.

“I think Juventus have had a signed contract with van Persie for some time locked away in a notary’s desk,” Parisi said.

“It is just my opinion, but I think there’s an eight out of 10 chance the Dutchman will join the Bianconeri,” he added.

Parisi said he believed Juventus’ pursuit of van Persie signaled that the club is ready to mount a serious challenge for the Champions League next season.

However, reports in The Daily Mirror have indicated that the 28-year-old’s prospective move to Turin is looking less likely by the day.

Carl Thomas, assistant to the forward’s agent Kees Vos, suggested that with Juventus’ coach Antonio Conte facing a lengthy ban should he be found guilty of match-fixing allegations leveled against him, van Persie would likely reject a move to the club.

The Italian manager, who led Juventus to the title while remaining undefeated, is accused of failing to report match fixing when he was in charge of Siena.

Thomas posted on Twitter that Conte’s situation was “hardly the advert” required to convince van Persie to commit to a move to Italy.

"Not the bet [sic] news coming from Italy regarding Juve manager. It's hardly the advert to come and join us," Thomas tweeted.

Tottenham are interested in signing Roma’s Dutch international keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

A fee of 8-million pounds ($12.4 million) has been mooted for the 29-year-old who only joined the Italian side last summer.

The player has reportedly failed to settle in Italy, with the player also said to be unhappy at the departure of head coach Luis Enrique.

The Daily Mail reports that the keeper favors a move to White Hart Lane, with the two clubs set to meet soon to discuss a fee for the Holland international.

Swansea midfielder Joe Allen is reported to have agreed a contract with Liverpool, as the player edges closer to sealing a move to Anfield.

The South Wales Evening Post has revealed that the player’s representatives were allowed to speak with Liverpool last month.

The deal is said to be big enough that it will “set him up for life.”

While Swansea have granted the Welsh international permission to speak with the Reds, the two clubs have so far been unable to agree a fee for the talented midfielder.

Liverpool have so far offered 12.5-million pounds for the 22-year-old, while the Swans are holding out for a deal in excess of 15-million pounds before they are willing to sanction the transfer.

Barcelona are said to be convinced that Arsenal midfielder Alex Song will join the club in the next 24 hours.

Reports in the Spanish media have claimed that all parties are keen for a deal to go ahead.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is said to be open to the deal should the Spanish side be realistic about their offer.

Barcelona have so far offered 12-million pounds for the Cameroon international, while Arsenal are believed want 17-million pounds for the 24-year-old.

The Catalan side is keen to add reinforcements to its midfield this summer after having recently allowed the departure of Seydou Keita.

Song signed for the north London club from French side Bastia for just 1-million pounds in 2006.

 

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