Arsene Wenger determined to keep Robin van Persie at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger insists he is keen to keep Robin van Persie at Arsenal after the forward was left out of pre-season tour of Asia

robin van persie
Robin van Persie netted 30 league goals for Arsenal last season Photo: Adidas

robin van persie

Arsene Wenger has stressed his desire to keep Robin van Persie at Arsenal this summer despite the constant speculation over the striker’s future.

The 28-year-old has been relentlessly linked with a move away from the Emirates in recent weeks after announcing he does not intend to sign a new contract at the club, with his current deal set to expire next summer.

Van Persie has been left out of the Gunners’ pre-season tour of Asia – and although the club has cited a lack of fitness as the reason for his absence, it appears to be a further indication that the Arsenal captain is set for an exit, with Manchester United already having had a bid rejected.

But a defiant Wenger, speaking about the situation for the first time since Van Persie’s announcement on his personal website earlier this month, says he is determined to keep the forward at the club.

“For me, Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best, and my desire is to keep him at the club.” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“As for the rest I will do what is in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club. That, at the moment, is where we are. There is not a lot more to say than that.”

This summer’s saga bears significant similarities to last year’s drama involving Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who both eventually sealed an exit from the Emirates late in the transfer window.

And Wenger is keen to prevent the similar situation dragging on as it did last summer, but also claims Van Persie would “give his best every day” for the club should he remain at Arsenal.

“Robin was an exceptional leader last year but we know how much we had to fight to come third because we missed out the start of the season,” he added.

“After seven games we had lost four and we have learned that for us it is vital for us to focus on the start of the season rather than on any transfers.

“If the transfers happen, they happen. As long as you are at the club you give your best for the club and that is the only pride you can have as a football player and as a manager.

“As long as you are somewhere you give your best every day for that club. If it changes, it changes.

“I am convinced that Robin is like that, he is completely focused every day on his job. He loves football, he loves the game and as long as he is here he will do that.”

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