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Sir Alex Ferguson 'did not initially want Robin Van Persie' at Manchester United for two reasons

Sir Alex Ferguson 'did not initially want Robin Van Persie' at Manchester United for two reasons

He initially didn't want to sign Van Persie.

Sir Alex Ferguson did not initially want to sign Robin Van Persie at Manchester United, Rene Meulensteen has claimed.

Van Persie joined United in a £24million deal from Arsenal in 2012 and became an integral part of Ferguson’s final-ever title-winning side.

The Dutchman netted 26 times in his debut campaign, helping the Old Trafford club to win the Premier League title.

Indeed, across his three seasons at Old Trafford Van Persie claimed 58 goals in 105 appearances for United.

But speaking to TalkSPORT, United’s first-team coach at the time, Meulensteen, revealed that Ferguson was not initially sold on the idea of bringing Van Persie to the club.

Ferguson did not want Van Persie

Meulensteen claimed that Ferguson initially did not want to sign Van Persie as he was concerned by the then-Arsenal player’s injury record and age.

The former United coach said: “I think it was in January, and I got a call from Robin’s agent, who I knew. He said ‘Listen, Rene, things at Arsenal are stalling with Robin, who has certain expectations at the club, he wants to take the club forward but they are not seeing the right investments coming in’.

“He is not going to extend his contract, and he would like to stay in England in the Premier League, he wants to play for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson. I said the only thing I can do is ask Sir Alex and see what he thinks.

“So I walked into his office and said I have got this phone call, Robin van Persie is interested in joining us, what do you think? Nah, he is too old, he was 27 at the time, a bit of an injury sort of player.

“I said I would look into it, I would not dismiss straight away, and discuss it with David Gill and see what you think. I will speak a bit more to see how genuine it is because sometimes players throw things up like that to strengthen the opposition for a new contract.

“We found out it was very genuine and knew it was not going to be easy because of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger being there, losing one of their best players.

“But, we had more discussions, and said this team we have needs something, they need a spark. So, I asked some of the senior players at training and asked them if we could get either Luka Modric, Arjen Robben or Van Persie, who would be better?

“Most of them said Robben, and it was a little turn of strategy because we had agreed to sign players under the age of 23.

“Up and coming and had years ahead of them, with Robin you could bring him in and you knew he was going to score goals. He was so committed to joining the club, as he was desperate to win the Premier League.

“It was not an easy transfer, but genuine from both sides and eventually he joined us and had an unbelievable season.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Robin Van Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson, Transfers