Wenger desperate to keep Van Persie

PA Sport
Arsenal still have work to do to convince Robin van Persie to extend his contract past next summer
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Arsenal still have work to do to convince Robin van Persie to extend his contract past next summer

Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal must keep hold of captain Robin van Persie "at all costs" as they look to resolve the Dutchman's long-term future ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season.

The Gunners may have already moved to bring in fresh faces Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, but there is still work to be done to convince Van Persie to extend his contract past next summer.

Writing in his blog for Eurosport, Wenger said: "We want to keep Robin van Persie at all costs, because we depend on him offensively. I have always supported him even in the hardest times, and I hope he will end his career at Arsenal."

Italian champions Juventus have made their interest clear, while Premier League winners Manchester City are said to be ready to put down a £20million offer with more than £200,000-per-week wages for the Holland striker, who is now away on holiday following a disappointing Euro 2012.

Wenger, though, knows just how important Van Persie, 28, is to the club, having netted 37 goals in all competitions as the Gunners eventually secured third place.

Meanwhile, Giroud scored 21 goals in 36 league appearances as Montpellier claimed their first Ligue 1 title last season, and will now aim to make an instant impact in England as the Gunners look to deliver a first trophy since 2005.

Wenger is in no doubt the 25-year-old, signed for a reported £13million deal, will fit right in at Emirates Stadium.

"I have known Olivier Giroud for some time," the Frenchman added. "The first time I saw him, I found he had something intelligent and dangerous. I always said he could score goals and assist his partners.

"Our game is based on cooperation between the players in the offensive phase and he will integrate easily.

"I don't like simple goalscorers, they must also add to the collective. He is good in the air which is rare. He is quite complete and has a great room for improvement."

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