Sir Alex Ferguson has finally got his man, with Robin van Persie poised to join Manchester United in a £24million deal.
Van Persie will sign a four-year contract with United on £200,000-a-week in a package worth almost £40m to the Holland international.
As revealed by the Mirror on Tuesday, Arsenal agreed to sell their captain and star striker once their asking price was met.
After weeks of wrangling, Ferguson had made a personal plea to old foe Arsene Wenger to agree to allow van Persie to join United. Wenger was reluctant to let his prized asset join United, but was forced to cave in once the offer reached £24m.
The Dutchman had just one year left on his contract, and Arsenal faced the prospect of losing him for nothing next year unless they sold.
The capture is a formidable statement of intent from United on the eve of the new Premier League season, as they aim to reclaim the title from local rivals Manchester City.
He should be ready to make his Manchester United debut at Everton on Monday.
Ferguson has spoken about the new-look attacking options of Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, and the comparisons with the 1999 set of Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Speaking at a press conference, Ferguson said: ‘They (Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie) are two fantastic players and it will be great to have both of them. It gives us more strength and more combinations up front.
‘In 1999 I had Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the four best strikers in Europe. ‘We are going towards that now with Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, Robin, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa. It is a fantastic collection of players and hopefully I pick the right combinations It is great to have a player of Robin van Persie’s qualities to come into the squad. I am very pleased.’
‘His agent is in discussions with (United chief executive) David Gill right about now. We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer. I am sure he will be available for Monday’s game.’
Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal were powerless to stop Robin van Persie signing for Manchester United. Wenger has the best part of two weeks to spend some of the money before the transfer window is closed. He said on French TV on Wednesday night: ‘It’s sad to lose a player of his quality. He had only one year left on his contract so we didn’t have the choice.’
A statement on United’s website said: ‘Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with Arsenal for the transfer of Robin van Persie. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms.’
- Fergie celebrating RVP coup (iol.co.za)
- Robin van Persie secures £22m move after Manchester United and Arsenal agree on a fee (telegraph.co.uk)
- ‘We had no choice’: Arsene Wenger says he had to sell contract rebel RvP – and hints he won’t spend cash now (mirror.co.uk)
- What the Robin Van Persie deal means for Manchester United and Arsenal – Telegraph.co.uk (telegraph.co.uk)
- Robin Van Persie in £22m Man Utd deal – as Rooney’s partner (thesun.co.uk)