Benayoun confident van Persie will stay at Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Yossi Benayoun believes Robin van Persie will sign a new contract to remain at the Emirates Stadium before his current deal expires in summer 2013, the Daily Mail has reported.

With little over a year left on his Arsenal contract van Persie has been mentioned in connection with a move to Manchester City or possible switches to Italian club Juventus or Barcelona, the Spanish side knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals last week by Chelsea, the parent club of the on-loan Benayoun.

But Benayoun stressed it was vital to the Gunners that van Persie remained, and added he felt certain he would. The Israeli said: “I think everyone knows it’s important. Each club wants to keep their best player and of course Robin is our best player and he’s proved it this season. I’m sure he will stay for a long time.

Van Persie joined Arsenal from Feyenoord in 2004 and has gone on to score 130 goals in 279 appearances under Arsene Wenger. The Netherlands international’s fine form this season, with 35 goals to his name, has brought two individual awards, the PFA Player of the Year prize and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year honour.

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