If Arsene Wenger's latest comments are any indication, Robin van Persie won't be leaving Arsenal this summer.
Van Persie has been widely speculated to be making a move from the Emirates, coming off a career-best season in which he won the Premier League golden boot with 30 goals and captured the PFA Player of the Year award. He has one year remaining on his contract and has been heavily linked to a move to Manchester City and Juventus, among other teams, but Wenger seems confident that the Dutch international will be staying put.
Wenger reportedly told Italian media that, "I am certain that Robin will remain with us. If you want to know why I am so certain is that Robin will remain with us is because there is no reason in this world why a great player like Van Persie should go and play for you, in Italy and in your competition. Your football (Serie A) is at an inferior level to the Premier League."
Even with that confidence, Arsenal are retooling their options up front, having already signed Lukas Podolski and reportedly closing in on adding Montpellier's Olivier Giroud.
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VAN BOMMEL RETIRES FROM NETHERLANDS
After the Netherlands' disappointing showing at Euro 2012, captain Mark Van Bommel is stepping away from the international game, feeling it is time for the next generation of Dutch players to make their mark.
Van Bommel, 35, retired from playing internationally for the Netherlands Wednesday. The Dutch, runners-up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, did not secure a single point in the Euro 2012 Group of Death despite entering as one of the favorites to win the tournament.
"I don't want to retire," Van Bommel, manager Bert van Marwijk's son-in-law, said in a statement on the Netherlands federation's website. "Maybe there will a moment that the coach needs me in the future and then I will be available but for now it is time for talented young players."
Van Bommel, who had 79 caps for the Netherlands, will continue to play on the club level for PSV Eindhoven.
SPAIN, FRANCE HOPE ABIDAL CAN ATTEND MATCH
Eric Abidal is a common link and teammate for plenty of players who will be involved in the Euro 2012 quarterfinal match between Spain and France, and both sides are hoping he can attend the match.
Abidal, a French international and Barcelona fullback, is recovering from a liver transplant that he had a year after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his liver.
"With everything that happened it has been a very tough time and it would be a great joy for both teams to see him in the stands," Spain backup goalkeeper and Barcelona No. 1 Victor Valdes said.
CROATIA SUBJECT TO MORE DISCIPLINE
Croatia's soccer federation was fined €80,000 for its supporters' racist chants and taunts at Italy's Mario Balotelli at Euro 2012, but that might not be the last Croatia hears from UEFA.
The European governing body of the sport has entered into another investigation into fan behavior for offensive banners and signage displayed during Euro matches. A decision about whether another punishment will be levied is expected on Sunday.
What do you make of Wenger's reported comments? Do you think Van Persie will ultimately play for Arsenal this season, or do you still think he will move elsewhere? Do you think Van Bommel is stepping away at the right time? At what point will fans start realizing that racism and offensive taunts and banners will cost them and their federation?
Share your thoughts below.