By Chris Harris
A new contract for Robin van Persie is on Arsène Wenger's agenda but he does not want the issue to become a media obsession in the months to come.
The captain had a weekend to remember after scoring twice to complete a century of goals for his team during the 3-0 win over Bolton. But Van Persie's graduation to Arsenal's '100 Club' was overshadowed by speculation over his future on Monday's back pages.
Reports pointed out that the Dutchman will be in the same position as Samir Nasri next summer unless he signs a new deal before then. Van Persie's manager wants his skipper to stay for the long-term but he played down the matter at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
"That [a new contract] depends on us and on Robin," said Wenger.
"On our side we are quite clear so that is no problem. I do not say there is no problem because it does not depend only on us but we are clear with our intention.
"After that you have to respect that he has nearly two years to go so let's not make an immediate issue of something like that. Two years in football is a very, very long time."
Wenger preferred to focus on Van Persie's fine form, particularly since 2010 gave way to 2011.
"I have a high level of expectation for him and his performances are as high as I expect them to be," he said.
"He plays well with the team, with the other players, and he finishes well. His finishing record is absolutely fantastic, he has scored 26 goals in 31 games and he is not only a finisher."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source