Dutch international striker Robin van Persie was "desperate" to join Manchester United and wanted
the challenge of "coming to the biggest club in the world",
according to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Van Persie, last season's Premier League top scorer with 30
goals, completed his move from Arsenal on Friday after signing a
The 29-year-old had also been strongly linked with Premier
League champions Manchester City after announcing in July that
he would not his extend his contract, due to run out in 2013,
with the Londoners.
"It wasn't an easy one," Ferguson told MUTV. "Understandably, [Arsenal manager] Arsene Wenger didn't want
to sell to Manchester United. The boy wanted to come to us and
"He turned down various clubs to join us because he wants
the challenge of coming to the biggest club in the world. I
think that's fantastic.
"That's what swung it and what made it possible; the only
negotiation left was agreeing a fee with Arsenal as there was
no-one else in the picture because the boy wanted it and was
desperate to come to Manchester United."
British media reported the deal to be £24 million, and
Van Persie, who scored 132 goals in 278 appearances for Arsenal
since joining from Feyenoord in 2004, is set to make his debut
in United's Premier League opener against Everton on Monday.
Ferguson said the opportunity to sign a striker of Van
Persie's calibre was too good to resist.
"I didn't think it was possible we could get Van Persie when
we talked about it last year but, when I heard he'd refused to
sign a new contract and made it publicly known that he wanted to
leave Arsenal, then we had to be interested - there's no
question about that," he said.
"Robin is a world-class striker with a proven record in
England and in European football.
"His talents need no introduction to our fans - he has
scored a number of goals against us in some classic battles with
his former club. His movement, finishing and all-round ability
Despite his terrific season, Van Persie told Arsenal last
month that he was unhappy with the direction they were taking.
Arsenal, who finished third in the Premier League last
season, have not won a major trophy since the 2005 FA Cup.
"It's an honour to sign for Manchester United," Van Persie
told the club's official website.
"I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of so
many great strikers, bringing my experience and playing my part
to help the team compete for the biggest trophies in the
game. "I can't wait to get started."
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