Arsenal fans jeer Robin van Persie as Podolski emerges new hero at Emirates

Updated: Aug 14, 2012, 10:49 AM IST

London: Arsenal fans jeered captain Robin Van Persie during their friendly match against German club Cologne FC on Sunday, as they found a new hero in summer recruit Lukas Podolski, who scored a brace during the match.

Manager Arsene Wenger watched his side thrash Cologne 4-0, and did not rule out the club forcing want-a-way Van Persie to see out the last year on his contract.

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

The Dutchman came on for the last 20 minutes, and was booed by a large section of the 1,500 Arsenal fans that travelled to Germany for the match. "There’s no news on Van Persie. Our fans want him to stay so you can understand they are excited. Anything I could say about Van Persie would be a lie because he’s our player and that’s it," The Sun quoted Wenger, as saying.

“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," he added.

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.

Some Arsenal fans cheered when Van Persie came on but there was no doubting the anger among many. He was hit by a wall of boos just before the end when he chased a ball close to the Arsenal contingent.