Belfast Telegraph

Van Persie going nowhere - Wenger

Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal will not be selling captain Robin van Persie to Manchester City - and expects the Dutch striker to stay on to lead the Gunners to success.

Van Persie, 28, has yet to agree an extension to his current contract which runs until the summer of 2013 but the striker has netted 32 goals in a stand-out individual campaign and appears comfortable to wait until the end of the season before discussing future plans.

Big-spending Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini recently labelled Van Persie as "one of the best strikers in Europe", but Wenger said: "We will not lose anybody to Manchester City, or to anybody else because we want to keep our players."

He added: "We want to keep Robin Van Persie, that is clear, we will do everything possible to extend his contract, that is clear, and apart from that, I can only let people talk."

Wenger insists everyone's focus must be on winning Monday night's Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle to stay in the top four.

"To fulfil his contract is to win against Newcastle and to add to that is to win the next game, that is being professional," the Arsenal boss said. "You always want to know what happens in 2012 or 2013 then who knows? To be professional is to win your next game."

Arsenal reluctantly sold then captain Cesc Fabregas back to Barcelona last summer, before eventually having to give up in the battle to keep Samir Nasri, who was sold to City in a £24million deal at the end of August.

Wenger admits it is a situation he does not want to repeat.

"Last year was the first time we lost the players young. That was a worrying sign and it provoked double trouble," he said. "Firstly they went late and secondly we bought late when we were already in a very difficult situation.

"There is a wrong understanding about what happened. The club has been treated very badly because of that and I don't think the club was guilty of anything during that transfer period."

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