Wenger insists on Van Persie stay: We will not lose anyone to Manchester City

The 32-goal Dutchman is yet to put pen to paper on a new contract, having suspended talks until the end of the season, but his boss is not envisaging another Samir Nasri saga
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed that his star striker Robin van Persie will not be going anywhere in the summer, as Manchester City line up a bid.

City manager Roberto Mancini spoke glowingly about the Gunners' talismanic captain recently as the Eastlands outfit prepare a fifth summer raid on Wenger's men, having secured the services of Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri from the Emirates Stadium in the last three years.

While Arsenal were less reluctant to sell the first three, the Nasri deal, in particular, is believed to have irked Wenger, who reportedly felt that selling one of his most talented young players represented a step down by his club.

This time, however, the Frenchman is adamant that there will be no repeat regarding his No. 10, who is having a prolific season.

As well as Manchester City, Real Madrid are being heavily linked with a move in the Spanish press, but Wenger has claimed that he would be prepared to allow the Dutchman to enter the final year of his contract if he refused to sign a new deal.

The veteran coach is keen to avoid suggestions that the Gunners are a 'feeder club' for the Etihad Stadium side.

“We will not lose anybody to Manchester City, or to anybody else, because we want to keep our players,” Wenger said in his Friday press conference.

“We will do everything possible to extend his contract.

“Our plan is to keep Robin van Persie even if we buy any player. Our desire is clean and clear. Robin is the leader of our club and I would just like to specify that he is not at the end of his contract.

“He is under contract until 2013. So I would say focus on your job, which he does very well, and enjoy your games.”

Arsenal are 7/1 with William Hill to beat Newcastle 2-0 on Monday night.

The Gunners manager admitted that he had spoken too soon when he said last summer: "Imagine the worst situation - we lose [Cesc] Fabregas [to Barcelona] and Nasri - you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that," but remains bullish over his chances of keeping Van Persie.

“I was very adamant but, at the end of the day, it was a difficult situation to manage,” he argued.

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

“One day I’d like to write a book about last summer. 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. The way it happened was not the responsibility of the club.”

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