Heart rules out Gunners departure - Van Persie

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Robin van Persie spurned the chance to leave Arsenal because of his fondness for the club.

Four teams - believed to be Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus and Inter Milan - expressed interest in the Holland international, but he revealed: "It's not as easy to leave Arsenal as you maybe think."

The Gunners are without a trophy since winning the 2005 FA Cup - to date Van Persie's only major trophy with the club and a statistic which contributed to the departures of players including Mathieu Flamini.

But Van Persie, who signed from Feyenoord in 2004, said in The News of the World: "It is good that four teams were really interested in me but I had to turn them down.

"Even if you want to leave, as a player, I don't think it is easy because when you move to Arsenal you are led there by your heart."

Van Persie has been out since November with an ankle injury incurred while playing for Holland and he believes his fitness record has hindered his development into a great of the game.

"Everything starts with your fitness and some players are lucky like that," the 26-year-old added.

"I hate it but I can't do anything about it because this is my situation.

"When you look at great players, they are always fit, always sharp.

"When you play 50 games a season, you can score more goals and get more assists, so it follows that you are more important to the team."

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Robin Van Persie
Manchester City
Premier League
FA Cup
Mathieu Flamini

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