ARSENAL MANAGER Arsene Wenger remains determined to keep Robin van Persie at the north London club.
The Dutchman appeared as a substitute as the Gunners cruised to a 4-0 victory over FC Koln in Germany yesterday.
Olivier Giroud started in the central attacking role for the club’s final pre-season friendly but Wenger insisted that his stance regarding Van Persie had not changed.
“There’s no news on Van Persie,” Wenger told reporters. “Our fans want him to stay so you can understand they are excited. Anything I could say about Van Persie would be a lie because he’s our player and that’s it. Robin scored 30 goals last season and you want to keep your best player.
“He was player of the year in England. We want to keep him. I cannot tell you more at the moment because I don’t know more.”
Van Persie has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus after confirming that he will not extend his Arsenal contract, which runs out at the end of the season. City boss Roberto Mancini has since admitted defeat in his pursuit of the prolific forward, but United counterpart Alex Ferguson remains interested in bringing the 29-year-old to Old Trafford.
Arsenal kick-off their Premier League campaign at home against Sunderland on Saturday.