Van Persie deal to be done ahead of Euro 2012
Arsène Wenger said yesterday that Arsenal are determined to tie up a new contract for Robin van Persie between the end of the season and the start of Euro 2012, although that leaves the club only a matter of days to do a deal.
Van Persie, 28, is out of contract at the end of next season and this summer is viewed as crucial in deciding his future. Signing the captain to a long-term contract is fundamental to the club's future to prevent another captain, and key player, leaving Arsenal in the same way as Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas have done over recent years.
The season ends on 13 May and four days later the Netherlands squad depart for their Swiss training base. They play their first game against Denmark on 9 June. Asked about Van Persie's contract, Wenger said: "That will be sorted at the end of the season." The Arsenal manager also confirmed it would be before the European Championship.
Today's game will be Van Persie's 50th of the season for club and country, over the course of which he has scored 38 goals, a record Wenger described as "beyond expectation". He said it was natural the striker looked jaded against Wigan. "When you play 50 games at that level you suffer a little bit. But on the actual night I think he suffered because we didn't create a lot and you have to give Wigan credit for that."
"It's important for him to get a breather before the European Championships. That will be very important. He is physically good. He has a very healthy life, very focused on football – he takes care of everything. That's why he manages to do that. He is like Thierry Henry in that respect."
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Commonwealth Games 2014: Australia launch Glasgow swimwear - but are criticised for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp concerned with Dortmund injuries and praises signings of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke