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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Martinez's woe at wretched Everton

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RVP joins Arsenal for pre-season

Robin van Persie has flown out to Germany with Arsenal for the club's pre-season friendly against Cologne as speculation mounts that he will stay at Emirates Stadium.

• Gunners close in on Malaga's Cazorla
• Mancini cools Van Persie talk

Van Persie, 29, is wanted by Juventus and both Manchester clubs, but none of the trio have yet offered anything like the fee Arsenal are demanding before they would consider selling their striker.

Arsenal have made it clear they will keep the Dutchman for the final year of his current contract unless they are paid £25 million, but the interested clubs do not want to stump up a big fee on top of his reported wage demands of £190,000 a week, and there is a growing belief that he could now stay in North London.

Van Persie challenged Arsene Wenger and the club last month when he issued a statement explaining why he wanted to leave the Emirates, claiming Arsenal lacked ambition.

Wenger has certainly tried to meet that challenge with a series of big-name signings including highly rated Spanish international forward Santi Cazorla, who is also reported to have flown to Germany as part of the Arsenal squad even though his £16.5 million transfer has yet to be officially completed.

Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have also arrived and are part of the 24-man squad that travelled to Germany on Monday.

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