Robin van Persie
Van Persie has just one more year left on his Arsenal contract and has still not given any hint about whether he will sign an extension REUTERS

Mikel Arteta has insisted that Robin van Persie is completely unaware of interest from Barcelona or Real Madrid, with the striker concentrating on playing his best for Arsenal this season.

Van Persie is in the last 18 months of his current deal with the Gunners, and if he doesn't sign a new agreement by the summer, transfer rumours will no doubt go into overdrive as the side consider selling him or letting him go for free next year.

And while Arsenal have admitted they are keen to talk about a new contract, van Persie has revealed he won't be discussing the matter until the season is over.

Arteta has reiterated these sentiments, saying that he hopes the Arsenal skipper stays for the long haul, but it won't be decided until the summer.

"Robin is totally unaware of the rumours about Real Madrid and Barcelona, and also on the renewal of his contract," he told radio station Mas Esports, via

"He's quiet about it and not at all nervous. He said that in the summer he will speak with the club and will make his decision. I certainly do not want to see van Persie leave."

One particular issue that will come into play for Arsenal is their inability to compete with the big spending clubs for wages. Sides such as Manchester City and Chelsea offer up to double the wages of the Gunners, and van Persie will no doubt be tempted by the prospect of a move to a club that can offer both more money and trophy success.

But the Arsenal squad are hopeful that he will in fact stay at the Emirates and set the goal of ending the side's trophyless run, and summer signings like Arteta in particular will want him around a bit longer, after moving straight under the captain's wing.