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Honigstein: "U.S. Boys" midseason report

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By ESPN Staff

Wenger hopes to convince RVP

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have signalled their intent to skipper Robin van Persie they are serious about challenging for trophies next season with the signing of Lukas Podolski.

• Wenger 'quite confident' over RVP
• Van Persie 'very happy' with Podolski

Van Persie, who on Thursday night collected the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award, is set to sit down with Arsenal at the end of the season for discussions over a contract extension, with another year left on his current deal.

Speculation over Van Persie's future is set to rumble on, with Manchester City, Barcelona and AC Milan all said to be ready to offer the 28-year-old a big-money move.

Wenger, though, feels the Gunners have already shown they mean business in 2012-13 following the £11 million signing of Germany international Podolski from Cologne.

"Great players like to be with great players, so it helps always to get them in," Wenger said. "First, we want Robin to stay because he is convinced that we can play for the championship. I believe we have that.

"You want the players to be happy, and the club to be happy."

On the race to claim third spot in the league, Wenger said: "I do not want to be in the Champions League because of Robin. I want to be in the Champions League because that is the target of the club.

"After, the players are part of the club and the club wants to be with the best."

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