• Premier League

Wenger confident Van Persie will sign new deal

ESPN staff
April 27, 2012

Arsene Wenger is confident he can convince Robin van Persie to sign a new contract at Arsenal.

The Gunners captain has scored 27 Premier League goals this season and was recognised for his performances as he was named Player of the Year by both the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers' Association.

However, Van Persie's future remains in doubt, having been repeatedly linked with a move to Barcelona.

The Netherlands international, who has a year left on his current deal, will sit down with Wenger at the end of the season to thrash out contract talks. Wenger, who wants Van Persie's situation resolved before the European Championship in June, is confident Van Persie will still be an Arsenal player next season.

"That's what I will try to achieve," Wenger said. "I am confident for two reasons. First of all I want to convince him to stay here and to extend his contract. Secondly he is not free at the end of this season, he has one year of his contract left anyway."

Wenger believes the Dutchman has not just proved his ability as a goalscorer this season, but has also answered questions regarding his mentality.

"I believe he was consistent, he had an exceptional year because he scored goals but he was as well a provider," Wenger said. "I think that's what people admired with him this season, the fact he was not only a goalscorer but also a guy who provided assists.

"But something that was maybe questioned about him in the past is that he was a fighter. I think he added that combative side to his game, as a leader and a captain in the team, and that's what certainly convinced everybody.

"He has grown mentally and you see it better when you look back with a distance. The young player who arrived here and the man he is today, I believe he has grown a lot and made a big, big, massive improvement on that front. He has grown into a leader and he is a great captain now, on and off the pitch."

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