Ramsey hopeful contract rebel Van Persie will stay at Arsenal

The 21-year-old hopes that last season's top Premier League marksman will remain with the Gunners despite the Dutchman insisting that he will not be signing a new deal
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey remains hopeful that club captain Robin van Persie will still be at the Emirates Stadium when the new season gets underway.

There has been much speculation over the Dutchman's future ever since he announced that he would not be signing a new deal with the Gunners and criticised the club over their transfer policy and ambition.

The 28-year-old scored 30 Premier League goals last term, which went a long way towards helping Arsene Wenger's side secure third place, and midfielder Ramsey, currently preparing for the Olympics with Team GB, knows how difficult it would be to replace such a contribution.

He told the The Belfast Telegraph: "We don't know anything that goes on. We hope that he stays at Arsenal.

8/1 Robin van Persie is 8/1 with William Hill to be the Premier League's top scorer in 2012-13

"He had a brilliant season last year and he is a big player for us, so we are just hopeful that he will stay."

Arsenal have already signed forwards Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, the latter confirmed to have been with one eye on replacing their captain.

The Gunners' poor start last season was attributed by many to Wenger leaving their dealings in the transfer market until the last minute.

Ramsey is convinced that, if they get their business done early, his side can make a better start to the upcoming campaign and possibly close the 19-point gap on second-placed Manchester United.

He added: "If we get off to a better start this season than we did last season, we know we are capable of finishing pretty strongly, like we did last year.

"We have brought in a couple of players who are well-known and hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to compete early on."