Saturday, 12th January, 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has explained that Manchester United wanted Robin van Persie badly, and that is why they paid top dollar to bring him to Old Trafford over the summer.

Van Persie had refused to sign a new contract with Arsenal and had just 12 months left to run on his deal at the Emirates Stadium.

And Arsenal were left with no choice but to cash in, or risk losing him for free next summer, a fact which made the £24M fee that Manchester United paid for the Holland international something of a surprise, especially given the Gunners’ weak bargaining position.

But Ferguson has revealed that he wanted to snap up the Dutchman very badly indeed and was convinced he was the right fit for Old Trafford.


"The first thing we looked at was the player’s ability", he told his club’s official site, before accepting the Red Devils did pay a large fee for Van Persie.

"To pay that amount of money was a lot for a player in his last year.

"But the thing about that is that it was proved a year before when City played £24M for Samir Nasri – you either want him or you don’t want him.

"If you want him, you have to pay the price the club is sticking out for. We wanted Robin badly so we were prepared to go the extra mile for him.

"It’s just the way the game is nowadays. Obviously if you’re negotiating with a club who still has the player under contract for another three or four years then they’re in a better position, but at the end of the day negotiations are negotiations."

Van Persie has already made a good start of repaying Manchester United’s investment in him, scoring a number of potentially pivotal goals in the Premier League so far this season.

At present the Dutchman has 16 to his name in the English top flight, a number which sees him leading the scoring charts.

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