Arsene Wenger is determined to try and persuade Robin van Persie to stay at the Emirates, despite the striker's insistence he will leave when his contract expires at the end of next season.
Van Persie (8/1 Top Premier League Goalscorer) stunned fans earlier this month when he confirmed he would not be signing an extension to his contract, stating that he was unhappy with the club's direction and that it is time to move on. The Dutchman has been the subject of bids from Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus, but the three clubs have yet to match Arsenal's (7/2 To Win A Trophy) valuation, believed to be in the region of £25m despite only having 12 months to run.
Wenger (5/1 To Leave Arsenal Before The End Of The Season) is desperate to keep his man at the club and said: "For me, Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best, and my desire is to keep him at the club. As for the rest I will do what is in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club (Arsenal 6/5 To Finish Third Or Better) . That, at the moment, is where we are. There is not a lot more to say than that."
"Robin was an exceptional leader last year but we know how much we had to fight to come third because we missed out the start of the season," added Wenger. "After seven games we had lost four and we have learned that for us it is vital for us to focus on the start of the season rather than on any transfers. If the transfers happen, they happen. As long as you are at the club you give your best for the club and that is the only pride you can have as a football player and as a manager"