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The Frenchman has scoffed at rumours linking the Gunners ace with a move to Italy, branding the Italian top flight an inferior competition to the English Premier League

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dismissed the prospect of leading striker Robin van Persie leaving the club to play in Serie A.

The Dutch international's future at the Emirates is hanging in the air, with his current contract expiring next summer and talks on a new deal progressing at a slow pace.

Italian champions Juventus have been linked with a move for the striker, but Wenger laughed off the rumour, saying a move to Italy would mark a step down for the Arsenal skipper.

"In Italy there are big problems and your league is at a level lower than the Premier League. Serie A is at a low level now," he was quoted as saying by Corriere dello Sport.

"There is no reason at all why a great player like [Van Persie] should come and play with you, in Italy, in your league.

"Football players get paid better in England, you have not heard of the new television contracts?

"The Italian league was once extraordinary, and I remember well, when the league had 16 teams and each team had their own champion. Now it is not the case."

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have also been linked with Van Persie, who was last season's top scorer in England with 37 goals in all competitions.

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