By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger hopes Robin van Persie will follow in Theo Walcott's footsteps and sign a new contract at Arsenal.

The England star put pen to paper on a long-term deal this week but Van Persie is still in talks over his own future. Wenger can pay attention to contract issues now Arsenal's quest for silverware is over and Van Persie is a big part of that process, with Wenger determined to keep the Dutchman at Emirates Stadium.

"Why should we not [hold on to our best players]?" asked the Frenchman. "I am hoping Robin will sign a new deal and I am trying very hard to get him to sign.

"I want Robin on board. He is a very important player in the squad and on the pitch he is a very efficient player.

"We want him to stay because we gave him a chance when he was in a very bad position at Feyenoord.

"I think he has developed well here and I don't see a reason for him to go and he loves the Club.

"We will let you know as soon as we get close [to a deal]."

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8 May 2009