Arteta doesn't see RVP leaving
Midfielder says team-mate has not been affected by speculation
By Lucas Brown. Last Updated: February 29, 2012 5:04pm
Robin van Persie: Tipped to stay at Arsenal by team-mate Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta does not think that Robin van Persie will be tempted to leave Arsenal in the summer and says the Dutchman has not been distracted by talk of a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Reports in England and Spain have linked Van Persie with a move to the Bernabeu or Camp Nou as he has yet to pen a new deal to keep him with the Gunners.
The striker will not hold talks with the club about his future until the end of the season, but Arteta does not think supporters should be too concerned.
Having become close friends since Arteta's switch to the Emirates Stadium, the Spaniard believes Van Persie is content where is.
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"I do not see Van Persie leaving Arsenal," Arteta told COM Radio.
"He is completely unaffected by interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona and not thinking about his contract renewal either.
"Now he is very calm and is not nervous about anything.
"I know he has said that in the summer he will consider things, talk it over and take the decision that he will take."
Arteta arrived at Arsenal as Cesc Fabregas left to rejoin Barcelona and he is insisting that he feels no pressure to fill the Catalan playmaker's boots, although he would still love to break into the Spain squad.
"I do not want to be Cesc's substitute and I have no thoughts like that," he continued.
"My dream and aim is to win a big trophy for the club and to play for Spain. I would have loved to have had the chance to play for Spain, but I have not yet and I hope that some day that will change."
Barcelona could have relied on Arteta's skills had he chosen to stay and push for a place after rising through their youth ranks rather than leave to join Rangers in 2002.
"I have always wondered if I could have made it in the Barca first team. That is very difficult though and a limited option. To reach the team is not so tough, but staying there is," he added.
"When I left I knew what I was doing. Pep (Guardiola) was still in the first team, Xavi hardly played and I know that it would be a long and difficult time waiting for a chance.
"That is why I decided to take the decision to leave. I am very proud to have been at Barcelona though."