Robin van Persie will delay contract talks until the summer

Robin van Persie
Van Persie has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season

Arsenal do not expect to open negotiations with striker Robin van Persie over a new contract until towards the end of the season.

Van Persie's deal expires in June 2013 and the 28-year-old Dutchman does not want to discuss the matter just yet.

Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "He doesn't want to talk about it and we're not troubling him. We'll approach him near the end of the season.

"We hope he will sign a new contract - I don't see why he should not."

Van Persie moved to the north London club from Dutch side Feyenoord in 2004 and has established himself as the main striker in manager Arsene Wenger's side.

"He was quite difficult at Feyenoord, but we have had no trouble with him," Hill-Wood added in the Daily Starexternal-link.

"I can't believe he is unhappy with us."

Arsenal will be keen to sort out Van Persie's contract given the manner of the departures of key players Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas during the summer transfer window.

Nasri joined Manchester City for a reported £25m following, as the midfielder himself put it, "long, long negotiations between the two clubs", while Fabregas's move to Barcelona was one of the most protracted transfer sagas in recent football history.