Wenger wants RVP stay
Arsene Wenger insists he wants to keep Robin van Persie at Arsenal but has left the striker out of the 24-man squad for the upcoming Asia tour.
Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed to MUTV on Friday that Manchester United have made a bid for Van Persie, while it is widely reported that Manchester City and Juventus have also made concrete offers.
Arsenal would appear pessimistic about their chances of keeping their captain given the confirmation on Saturday morning that Van Persie will not be part of the travelling party when the squad fly out to Malaysia.
However, it is clear that none of the offers has met with the Gunners' approval and Wenger, who says the striker's absence from the tour is down to a need to work on his fitness, remains hopeful that the Netherlands international will stay at the Emirates.
"For me, Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best, and my desire is to keep him at the club," he told Arsenal Player. "As for the rest, I will do what is in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club. That, at the moment, is where we are. There is not a lot more to say than that.
"What is always important is that Arsenal is happy - Arsenal is 30 million (supporters) and what is important is that these people are happy. If you can combine the happiness of the players and all our fans it is even better and that is what we try to achieve."
Asked if he was confident Van Persie would stay, he added: "I do not want to talk too much about that situation because I believe it is also important that every individual player is happy."
Wenger has already indicated that he is eager to avoid a repeat of last season's transfer business, when the late sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri left preparations for the new season in disarray, but he is confident that Van Persie would maintain a professional approach should he see out the final year of his contract at Arsenal.
"Robin was an exceptional leader last year, but we know how much we had to fight to come third because we missed out the start of the season," he said. "After seven games we had lost four and we have learned that for us it is vital for us to focus on the start of the season rather than on any transfers.
"If the transfers happen, they happen. As long as you are at the club you give your best for the club and that is the only pride you can have as a football player and as a manager.
"As long as you are somewhere you give your best every day for that club. If it changes, it changes. I am convinced that Robin is like that - he is completely focused every day on his job. He loves football, he loves the game and as long as he is here he will do that."
Wenger said Arsenal plan to strengthen this summer but that the number of deals will be dependent on the number of players who depart.
"We are still looking to add one or two players but it depends also on how many go out because we have to respect the squad number," he said. "It's important to respect that, so before we get players in we have to get some players out. That has not happened yet. The market is very quiet.
"I cannot tell you anything concrete about the situation [regarding those who might leave] because if they are not finding clubs they will stay here and be players of the squad. At the moment I cannot give you any concrete or clear indication."
Regardless of whether Van Persie remains, Wenger believes Olivier Giroud, the 25-year-old France striker signed from Montpellier this summer, will be a significant boost to the attack.
"I bought him because he's a real centre forward and he is an intelligent player," Wenger said. "He is a player who developed late and I feel he can integrate in the way we play football and add something to the way we play because he is good in the air.
"He has a good, strong body and I feel he has qualities that are needed in our squad. Hopefully he can show that."