Wenger counting Van Persie as out for the season

Arsene Wenger has effectively ruled out Robin van Persie until next season. The Netherlands striker has been out since picking up an ankle injury during his country s match in Italy last month. He had been expected to return for the title run-in, but the

Arsene Wenger has effectively ruled out Robin van Persie until next season.

The Netherlands striker has been out since picking up an ankle injury during his country's match in Italy last month.

He had been expected to return for the title run-in, but the Arsenal manager admitted he has been forced to reassess.

"If you are very positive you would say he'll be back in April," Wenger told the club's official website. "If you're a bit cautious you say May. It is virtually the rest of the season.


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"Personally I thought, 'Let's put it in my head that he will not play again this season and hope that I will have a good surprise'."

Van Persie should be fit for next summer's World Cup in South Africa and is currently resting after surgery.

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"At the moment he cannot do anything," added Wenger. "he is just sitting at home waiting until he can work again. The first two steps have been very successful."

Now the Frenchman says he will have one eye on the transfer window when it reopens next week - and may even sign a player who is cup-tied.

"We are going for the domestic title and the FA Cup as well and doing that allows you to rest a player for the Champions League or play another player in the Premier League.

"Of course I would prefer the player who can play in both competitions and so it would mean the player has the quality to play in the long-term for Arsenal.

"If the right player turns up then we will do it.

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