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Van Persie rejects new contract to signal Arsenal departure

updated 4:02 PM EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
Robin van Persie scores one of his 37 goals for Arsenal last season.
Robin van Persie scores one of his 37 goals for Arsenal last season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robin van Persie says he does not want to extend contract at Arsenal
  • Dutch striker makes announcement on his personal website
  • EPL giants Arsenal may be forced to sell him in the transfer window
  • Van Persie scored 37 goals for the Gunners last season

(CNN) -- Dutch international striker Robin van Persie has turned down a new contract at Arsenal, signaling his likely departure from the English Premier League side.

Van Persie made the announcement Wednesday on his official website.

The 28-year-old has only a year left on his remaining deal and Arsenal will likely have no option than to transfer him rather than see him depart on a Bosman free transfer.

"I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract," Van Persie said.

"You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions," he added.

Van Persie is considered key to Arsenal's hopes of improving on their distant third place finish in the EPL last season behind Manchester City and Manchester United.

I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract
Robin van Persie

He scored 37 goals in 48 games for the Gunners last season, including 30 in the Premier League.

His efforts also won him the two major player of the year awards in English football, but van Persie said he was keen to win trophies.

He has just the 2005 FA Cup win to show for his time with Arsenal since his transfer from Dutch side Feyenoord in 2004.

To this end, van Persie said he had met with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the end of last season to discuss his future and their ambitions for the club.

"Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don't want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward," he added.

"I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last eight years. As soon as Mr.Gazidis is back from his two-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments."

Van Persie has been heavily linked with a move to EPL champions Manchester City, while Serie A winners Juventus are also believed to be keen on his signature.

He would be the most notable departure from Arsenal since Spanish star Cesc Fabregas left last summer to join Barcelona.

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