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Aug 14, 2012

Robin van Persie gets new pitchman

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany on Tuesday described Arsenal striker Robin van Persie as a "great player" and said any team would be made stronger by his presence.

Van Persie's future was still uncertain Tuesday with media reports all citing interest from Manchester United, Juventus and Manchester City, following confirmation from the 29-year-old Dutch striker that he will not be signing a new contract with Arsenal.

"It's very easy to say you want to play next to Robin van Persie," Kompany told Sky Sports News Tuesday.

"He's a great player. He's proved it so many times last season and any team he would play for he'd make it stronger."

Van Persie's contract with Arsenal expires at the end of the 2012-13 season. He had announced earlier this summer that he would not renew his deal, and he was booed by some Arsenal fans during a friendly against Cologne on Sunday.

Teammate Thomas Vermaelen said he does not believe the speculation or reception from the Gunners' supporters has had a negative effect on the striker, who scored 37 goals last season.

"To me he looks fit and sharp in training," Vermaelen said.

Vermaelen and Kompany will team up Wednesday when Belgium takes on van Persie and the Dutch national team in an international friendly in Brussels on the final warm-up round before Brazil 2014 qualifiers start.

"He's working hard. He's working on his fitness. I don't see anything (different) and I hope he stays the next four years as well.

"I don't know what happens behind the scenes but at the moment I can only say he's a player for Arsenal.

"I feel really positive for the new season. If we all stay fit, the squad is strong enough to compete for the title."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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