Hope for Man United: Arsenal fans want Persie out

Germany striker Podolski hailed as new hero

Lukas Podolski endeared himself to Arsenal fans by bagging a brace in a pre-season fixture to spearhead his new club with a comfortable 4-0 win at Cologne on Sunday.

A majority of the travelling Arsenal faithfull embraced the German as their new hero and turned their guns on Robin van Persie who has yet to commit his future at Emirates, according to The Sun.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger did not rule out the club forcing Van Persie to see out the final year of his contract.

Manchester United have yet to match Arsenal’s £25 million valuation and the Gunners are digging in their heels over the deal with just a week to go before the season kicks off.

“There’s no news on Van Persie. Our fans want him to stay so you can understand they are excited," said Wenger despite Van Persie being bood by a section of fans after he came on for the last 20 minutes.

He added: “Anything I could say about Van Persie would be a lie because he’s our player and that’s it.

“Robin scored 30 goals last season and you want to keep your best player.

“He was player of the year in England. We want to keep him. I cannot tell you more at the moment because I don’t know more.”

Podolski netted a penalty after Thomas Vermaelen’s opener. The German then finished a great move to grab Arsenal’s third before the interval. Gervinho rounded things off after the restart.

In a clear snub to Van Persie, Gunners fans chanted ‘Lucas Podolski, he scores when he wants’ — replacing the Dutchman’s name from their favourite chant, the report added.

Wenger’s other summer signings — £12m Olivier Giroud and £17m Santi Cazorla — also impressed after getting their debuts in the first half.

The Arsenal boss insisted: “We have not bought the players to replace Van Persie, but to strengthen our squad with the thinking Van Persie will stay. That’s still my mind at the moment.”

For his part, Podolski said: “First match and first goals.

“I was very surprised by the reaction of the Arsenal fans. I heard them chanting my name and it was crazy.

“I have felt part of Arsenal from the first day, to score in my first match was great.

“I need another two weeks to be fully ready.”

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