Van Persie signs new Arsenal deal

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The Independent Football

Robin van Persie has agreed a new long-term deal with Arsenal, the club have confirmed.

The Dutchman, 25, was the Gunners' leading scorer last season with 20 goals from 44 appearances.

While the terms of the new contract for van Persie, who joined Arsenal from his home town club Feyenoord in 2004, have not been disclosed, it is reported to be worth around £80,000-a-week, which would make the Holland forward one of the highest paid players at Emirates Stadium.

Van Persie said: "I have been at the club for five years now and there really is a great feeling here at Arsenal.

"We have a top-class manager, a squad full of superb young players, a world-class stadium and brilliant supporters.

"Arsenal have a very bright future and I want to be part of it."

Van Persie had been linked with a move to Barclays Premier League rivals Manchester United, but hinted he could now end his career at Emirates Stadium.

"My heart is with Arsenal and I just can't picture myself in a different shirt. I just can't see it now because I love this club so much.

"If you look at the last five years, look at the steps I have made every season, if you look at the support the boss and the whole club gave me, the fans gave me, my team-mates gave me - this is the right decision."

Much like captain Cesc Fabregas, van Persie has often talked of the need for Arsenal to now turn their potential into silverware.

When the Dutchman arrived five years ago, the Gunners were the team to beat and he won the FA Cup at the end of his first season.

Manager Arsene Wenger firmly believes van Persie has all the talents to help the Gunners, who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, make that crucial next step.

"It is fantastic news that Robin van Persie has committed his long term future to Arsenal. We are all delighted," said Wenger, who has also moved to tie up the long-term futures of youngsters Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs this summer.

"Robin is a hugely gifted player and has the talent and goalscoring ability to win matches at the very top level.

"We have already seen many times what Robin is capable of on a football pitch, but at only 25, there is still much more to come from him.

"Robin has the potential to become a true Arsenal great."

Arsenal, meanwhile, may have missed out on transfer target Felipe Melo, with reports in Italy claiming the Brazilian midfielder is now close to agreeing a move to Juventus.