Van Persie's "little boy" outlook seals deal
Soccer: Robin van Persie said he had listened to “the little boy inside him” when deciding to join Manchester United. The Dutch striker signed a four-year contract with the Old Trafford outfit this morning and is now in contention to face Everton at Goodison Park on Monday.
Once the 29-year-old had made it clear he wanted to leave Arsenal, Juventus were quick to make their interest known. Premier League champions Manchester City were also in the hunt but Van Persie did not want to go anywhere but United.
He said: “In these situations, when you have to make a hard decision in your life, I always listen to that little boy inside me. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Manchester United. Everyone knows me by now. I love football. I am quite principled in that perspective.
“It is always difficult to find the perfect match but I do feel this is the perfect match for me. Manchester United breathes football. If you look at all the players from Manchester United, the stadium and manager, my choice was made very soon.”
It helped force through the transfer Sir Alex Ferguson never thought was possible; the first player Arsene Wenger had ever sold to United. “We never thought we could get Van Persie,” said the Red Devils chief. If you go back six months ago, I couldn’t see us getting him.
“I thought Arsenal are not going to let him go. When I read he had refused a new contract; that is when we acted. It has been a long haul.” Even so, it took a personal intervention from Ferguson to get the deal moving last week after it had apparently stalled permanently.
“I can’t elaborate but it was amicable. Arsene knew the boy wanted to leave. He knew he wanted to join us. That made it a bit easier but not in terms of trying to reduce the fee. He (Wenger) could run a poker school in Govan. He got a great price but we are also happy the matter is concluded. From the starting position when we first started negotiating, Arsene has done well.”
Van Persie has been handed the number 20 shirt, vacant following Fabio’s loan move to QPR. With chief executive David Gill sitting just five yards away, Ferguson declared that his transfer business for the summer was done.
He did, however, tell MUTV earlier that there was one player he would like to sign if he became available, without actually saying who it was. And whilst he noted Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has loosened the purse strings at Stamford Bridge this summer, Ferguson still believes Manchester City
are the biggest threat.
“Chelsea have won the European Cup,” said Ferguson. “It is a trophy Roman Abramovich has been after. He has now got excited again and loosened the purse strings to sign a few players. I am almost certain they will be challenging, but I look at Manchester City as our biggest danger.”