Saturday, August 18, 2012

United complete Van Persie deal As Wenger admits United are stronger

Manchester United have completed the signing of Arsenal
captain Robin van Persie on a four-year deal.

Van Persie, 29, is believed to have cost United £24 million and has joined the club in time to make his debut against Everton on Monday night.

It is reported he will earn £250,000 per week at Old Trafford. Van Persie said: “It’s an honour to sign for Manchester United. 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.”

The Netherlands international forced Arsenal into a sale after publicly stating he would not extend his contract, which had only one year left to run at Emirates Stadium.

He joined Arsenal from Feyenoord in a £2.75 million deal in May 2004 and scored 132 goals for the Gunners, winning the FA Cup when beating United in the final in 2005. He was made Arsenal captain last summer following the sale of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona but now completes a formidable United attack that also includes Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

Sir Alex Ferguson 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 are outstanding.”

Arsenal have appointed Thomas Vermaelen as their new captain and Arsene Wenger said on Friday that the club have already compensated for the loss of the Dutchman in attack.

“We regret that we have lost a great player and for one simple reason - he only had one year left on his contract. He wanted to go,” Wenger said.

“We anticipated this situation might happen, therefore we bought Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

“[Selling to a rival] is not what we wanted but there was not much choice. We had only one club really interested at the level we thought would be acceptable and that was Manchester United.

“At the end of the day, [selling] was the only decision we could make.”

Meanwhile Arsenal Boss Arsene Wenger accepts Arsenal have made rivals Manchester United even stronger with the sale of captain Robin van Persie, but feels Sir Alex Ferguson is a "bit too confident" with talking up another Treble like in 1999.

Red Devils boss Ferguson believes his formidable frontline next season will be just like it was when Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drove them on to domestic success, which was then capped by a remarkable late comeback in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Wenger, though, feels juggling the likes of Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck alongside Van Persie and Wayne Rooney will not be as straight forwards as it sounds, and said: "Alex Ferguson is a bit too confident when he says 1999, but of course it increases their potential offensively because they got a world-class players."

He went on: "However, they also have a number of players - like Hernandez and Wellbeck - who have a restricted chance to play."

While Arsenal were prepared to make the 29-year-old Dutchman the highest-paid player in the club's history, it was again a case of being unable to match what was on offer elsewhere - with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri also moving away last summer.

Wenger, however, firmly believes the days of clubs being bankrolled beyond their means are numbered, as UEFA look to implement financial fair play.

"It is a short-term problem, that the world cannot go on like that," said Wenger, who admitted midfielder Alex Song could yet join Barcelona before the end of the transfer window.

"You cannot imagine that the world will go on just splashing money out without any return, people will get tired of that because you will have just a few teams competing with each other.

"When you have lost the standard of living in life for normal people, the football world always gets higher and higher - that cannot last because people will not accept it."

The Arsenal boss added: "Financial Fair Play will make a big difference, how quickly I cannot answer because I am not responsible for putting it in place."

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