Manchester United agree deal with Arsenal for striker Robin van Persie
MANCHESTER United could field Robin van Persie in their Premier League opener against Everton on Monday after striking a deal to prise the Dutch
forward from Arsenal.
The Netherlands international is due in Manchester today for a medical, with only that and personal terms the potential obstacles to the deal being completed. However it is not anticipated there will be any late hitches.
“Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with Arsenal Football Club for the transfer of Robin Van Persie,” said a club statement tonight. “The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course.”
No fee has been announced by United, although it is believed to be around the £20 million mark, with further payments to Arsenal depending upon success in the future.
It has been suggested Van Persie will sign a four-year deal, and there is now the prospect of him pairing up with Wayne Rooney in a formidable strikeforce as United look to reclaim the domestic league title from big-spending neighbours Manchester City.
The transfer represents the biggest deal United have done since Dimitar Berbatov’s club record £30.75 million move from Tottenham in 2008.
It comes at a time when further questions are being raised about the finances available to Sir Alex Ferguson. The United manager has consistently stated how much backing he has received from the Glazer family.
Despite the presence of England’s Euro 2012 star Danny Welbeck and Mexican attacker Javier Hernandez in his squad, in addition to Berbatov, who has been widely tipped to leave Old Trafford, Ferguson made Van Persie one of his main summer targets.
The Old Trafford club initially lodged a bid for the 29-year-old last month, but that was turned down amid interest from Manchester City and Juventus. However, City never followed up an initial inquiry, while Van Persie made it clear he was not interested in a move to Serie A.
Having taken the unusual step of confirming a bid for Van Persie on United’s pre-season tour of South Africa, Ferguson is then said to have intervened in a deal that was in danger of stalling by speaking directly to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Wenger did not want to sell his star man to a rival club, however Arsenal supporters turned against their former favourite during a pre-season encounter with Cologne on Sunday.
United fans will be thrilled by the potential of Rooney partnering last season’s Golden Boot winner. Van Persie scored 37 goals in total, landing him the players’ and football writers’ player of the year awards.
Van Persie’s injury record remains a concern. His 48 games last season was the most he has played during his time at Arsenal. In only three of his other seven seasons has he featured on more than 35 occasions.
Ferguson will presumably believe he has the resources that will ensure not too much is demanded of Van Persie, especially as Welbeck is believed to be poised to agree a new contract.
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