Van Persie was sold for football reasons, claims Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood invited ridicule at the club’s AGM by insisting Robin van Persie was sold for footballing reasons.

When asked by a shareholder whether the Dutchman was sold to increase the club’s profit, Hill-Wood replied: “We undertake our transfers for football reasons and not FFP. Money is available to Arsene.”

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, the subject of a satirical leaflet being handed out prior to the event, stated that he felt that the club was still in a position to compete for silverware.

“Our ambition is all about football – to compete at the very top of the game here and in Europe. To win trophies. It’s important we understand our off-field journey if we want to understand our football future.”

“The club is increasingly well positioned to take advantage of its excellent global reputation. Within the next two years Arsenal will have the financial resources to sit and compete with the biggest clubs in the world.”

“I have no doubt we can and will return club to winning trophies and drive it forward to new heights. Standing together we can make Arsenal one of the leading clubs in the world.”

“We have outperformed that spend every single year for 15 years. An extraordinary record of consistency.”

The rising cost of ticket prices from the club has also been the subject of much criticism from Arsenal fans recently but Gazidis defended the club’s position.

He added: “We’ve only had two season ticket prices increases in the last seven years. They have not kept us at pace with rising costs in the game.”

Arsenal loanee Bendtner could leave Juventus in January, reveals agent

 Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner could be on his way out of Juventus in January despite only joining the Serie A champions in August, according to the striker’s agent.

The 24-year-old has made just one league appearance – as a substitute – for the club so far, and his representative has revealed the player’s unhappiness with limited first-team exposure.

“[Bendtner] is too strong a player to stay on the bench, so it’s not good for him or for Juventus to keep him there,” his agent Tom Brooks told TuttoMercatoWeb.

“If it continues like this, we will consider our options. Could that be from January? We’ll talk about it over the next few weeks.

“Why isn’t he playing? In all honesty, you’d have to ask [Juventus manager] Antonio Conte. Every player wants to play more and do his job. Nicklas has patience and respects the club, his team-mates and the decisions of the coach.”

Brooks was keen, though, to reiterate that Bendtner has no regrets so far about moving to Italy, and emphasised that the Dane’s priority is to prove himself with the Italian champions.

He added: “He absolutely does not regret this decision, as he wanted to play in the Champions League and for a club of this level. It is true he turned down proposals from Siena and Fiorentina, but he couldn’t let this opportunity pass by.

“The important thing is that he starts to spend more time on the pitch so he can do his job. Everyone respects him and he never complains, but this situation is not good and, when he is out of patience, we will consider our options.

“The boy is happy at Juventus, even if clearly he would like to play more. When he is on the field more regularly, he’ll be even happier.”

'Only God knows what awaits me' – Nani unsure over Manchester United future

Manchester United winger Nani has refused to rule out leaving the Old Trafford club in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has started just five of the Red Devils’ 12 games so far this season following the summer arrival of Shinji Kagawa and ongoing emergence of Tom Cleverley providing added competition for midfield places.

Nani has been targeted by AC Milan in a proposed £12-million move, with Juventus reportedly hesitant after concerns over their faltering striking options took precedence in the upcoming transfer window.

“Only God knows what awaits me,” Nani told The Sun, in response to speculation regarding a January exit.

Nani has not started a game for United since the club’s home 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on September 29, and has insisted that injuries or poor match fitness are not behind his restricted exposure.

He added: “I am in perfect condition – I am physically good and feeling confident.

“I am the same Nani as always.”

Chelsea target Willian reiterates desire to leave Shakhtar

Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian has name-checked Chelsea after admitting that he wants to leave the Ukraine champions and is seriously interested in a move to the Premier League.

After finding himself priced out of a move to Stamford Bridge and Tottenham during the summer, with Donetsk unwilling to budge on their £25 million asking price, the Brazilian was handed a Chelsea shirt after Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Roberto Di Matteo’s side with two question marks in place of shirt numbers.

And Willian has again reiterated his desire to leave the Donbass Arena, with the European champions, AC Milan and Inter all interesting the 24-year-old.

“I would like to move from Shakhtar, my work here is complete,” Willian told reporters.

“I would like to play in a big team in a big tournament, like the Premier League or Serie A. I like Chelsea, Milan and Inter.

“I have always followed the two Italian teams because my role models when I was young were Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, and they played for those teams.”

With Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas reportedly in regular contact with the forward, the player would appear to still have his heart set on the Portuguese manager’s former club at the moment, with his ultimate ambition to represent Brazil in the next World Cup on home soil.

He added: “I knew that Chelsea wanted me in the past but the club didn’t want me to leave. I think it was about the price.

“I still have two seasons left on my contract at Shakhtar and the only thing I can do is keep playing well, try to go on in the Champions League and hope to move next year.

“My dream is to play with the Selecao in the World Cup in Brazil and I will have more chance to realise the dream if I play for a big team.”

Quagliarella pledges future to Juventus amid Roma speculation

Juventus forward Fabio Quagliarella has committed his future to the Serie A champions after speculation arose that he desired to work under Roma coach Zdenek Zeman.

The 29-year-old attacker has scored three goals in seven appearances for the Old Lady so far this season but was excluded from the line-up for the Champions League match against Nordsjaelland on Tuesday night, heightening conjecture that he could be set to be included in a potential swap-deal with Roma’s Pablo Osvaldo.

Quagliarella was quoted earlier this week as saying that he would be keen to play under Zeman because he admires his attacking approach, but the Italian striker has explained that he was misunderstood.

On a statement on his Facebook page, the 25-cap international claimed: “I wanted to explain that my words have been misinterpreted.

“I responded to a question about Zeman like any other player.

“He is a coach who preaches an attacking brand of football that allows all of his forwards to express themselves in a good light.

“But I have no intention of leaving Turin. It is a fantastic city, I’m happy here with Juventus, a club whom I have won things with.”

Quagliarella appears to have fallen out of favour with national coach Cesare Prandelli and also finds his Juventus position under threat from Sebastian Giovinco, Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic.