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Fabregas: Gunners must keep Van Persie

CESC Fabregas believes Arsenal "cannot afford" to allow Robin van Persie to follow Samir Nasri and himself out of the club in search of trophies.

The Dutch international's current deal with Arsenal expires in 20 months' time, and the club's admission that they do not intend to open discussions over improving his terms until the closing stages of the season raises the prospect of Van Persie entering the final year of his contract with no agreement in place.

Nasri found himself in that position little more than five months ago, and Arsenal's determination not to risk losing the Frenchman for nothing at the end of his contract led the club to accept a £24m bid from Manchester City for one of their prized players.

Fabregas, van Persie's predecessor as captain, is adamant Arsenal cannot allow history to repeat itself in the case of the 28-year-old Dutchman, whose form over the past year has been a key factor in keeping the club in touch with the Premier League's elite.

"He is having an amazing season," Fabregas said.

"Hopefully he will be fit for the whole season. Unfortunately, when I was there, he never enjoyed a whole season and it was one of the things that I regret a little bit. He is a key player."



Bray pair stay in Wolves plan

WOLVES have promised to monitor the progress of Bray Wanderers duo Chris Shiels and Gary Shaw after Mick McCarthy invited the pair over on trial last week, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

And Bray team-mate Conor Murphy is also being tracked as Preston had the striker on trial.

The Molineux club featured three League of Ireland trialists in a trial game at their training ground last week. but Cork City striker Graham Cummins already admits that he's not going to get a contract from Mick McCarthy.

The forward admitted, while claiming his award for First Division Player of the Year at the PFAI awards on Saturday night, that he had a "nightmare" in the game and was unlikely to get a deal.

The Wolves boss was also keen to see Shiels and Shaw in action in the trial game and while no contracts have been offered, McCarthy says he will keep an eye on their progress.

Striker Murphy lined out for Preston's reserves in a game last week and could be asked back.


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