Juventus fear they have failed in their attempt to sign Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and will now turn their attention to Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. This report is according to the Daily Mirror which claims today that the Serie A side fear van Persie has decided not to join them leaving Manchester United as favourites to secure his signature.
The story about Suarez isn’t new – in fact the Uruguayan has been in Juve’s viewfinder since the end of last season. The Italian champions have long been considering alternatives to van Persie with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic and Napoli’s Edinson Cavani also under consideration. Cavani’s former Napoli team-mate Ezequiel Lavezzi was also a candidate but decided instead to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Suarez was linked with Juve by the Italian press in May when Juventus baulked at paying the 7-8million euro nett that van Persie’s representatives were asking for. Suarez and Jovetic – even Cavani despite recent reports he wants well over £100,000 a week – will settle for less than 5million euro nett which works out at over £140,000 a week gross. Juve feared a raft of demands for a pay rise if van Persie was paid what he was demanding although the club have subsequently offered him a deal worth 7.5million euro a year including bonuses and add-ons.
The fact that Manchester United are apparently willing to pay him around £200,000 has kept van Persie from moving to Turin, even though he favours the city over Manchester. As does his wife, Bouchra: “Manchester – never!” was one comment attributed to her in the Italian press this summer. However, the match-fixing allegations against Juventus coach Antonio Conte, dating to his time as coach of Siena, and the prospect of a lengthy ban after an attempt at plea-bargaining involving a three-month suspension was rejected by the Italian FA have cooled van Persie’s interest in the club.