Gervinho has revealed he hopes that Robin van Persie signs a contract extension at Arsenal and stays for the long haul, with the striker's current deal edging closer to it's expiration date.

Van Persie's contract with the club runs out in June 2013, and if he's unable to come to an agreement with Arsene Wenger over a new deal, the Holland international will be free this time next year to talk to other sides over a possible move.

And Gervinho, who signed with Arsenal in the summer, has pleaded with both the club and van Persie to come to an agreement soon so that the Gunners can concentrate on building their squad around the hitman in the long term.

"I don't want the sale of Robin van Persie," Gervinho told the Daily Mirror.

"Robin is a player who pushes companions to work harder and give more effort during matches. He is a dream to play with.

"Van Persie is the captain and the boss of the group."

Van Persie has scored 21 goals this season so far across all competitions. The 28 year old has been a driving force behind Arsenal's resurgence in the Premier League, and while the side had their worst start to the season in over 50 years, they were able to recover and are now pushing hard for a top four spot.

But Arsenal are facing a possible mass exodus come next summer if they are unable to lock in some of their big stars, with Theo Walcott, Andrey Arshavin and Johan Djourou also coming out of their deals with the club within the next 18 months.

The Gunners faced a similar crisis last summer, with Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy both able to push for deals at Manchester City in the last year of their contracts, despite Arsenal hoping to hold on to them. Wenger will be keen not to end up in a similar circumstance, but it appears that van Persie is waiting until the end of this season to judge the likelihood of the north London side being able to stand up to Premier League title contenders Manchester City and United.

If Arsenal are able to sign van Persie, it would seem that the likes of Walcott and Djourou at least will follow, with the shooter clearly having a big influence over the squad.

20 of Robin van Persie's goals this season: