Well now it is official… After two months of daily rumors and speculation, Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has finally be sold by English Premier League club Arsenal FC. It’s probably no surprise that the highest bidders in this ongoing saga turned out to be Manchester United. Reports said they paid between 22 and 24 million British pounds for the 29-year-old Dutchman. However, it’s believed that United will pay an initial fee of 15 million pounds and the rest will depend on how many games Van Persie plays and how many goals he manages.
Paying for games played is considered a good idea for United since Van Persie has been injury prone throughout his career. He joined Arsenal back in 2004 and finally played an injury-free full season with the London-based club last year. He’s missed well over 100 games overall for Arsenal since joining them. He proved last year that when he’s healthy he’s pretty hard to stop though as he led the Premier League in goals with 30 in 38 games.
Premier League side Manchester City and Italian Serie A champions were also interested in him. However, City never made a formal bid and Juventus only offered about 10 million pounds. Man united wrapped up the deal on Aug. 15 and both them and Arsenal made statements confirming it on their official websites. No financial details were released though.
Van Persie must now pass a medical before the sale is made official. He joined Arsenal from Dutch club Feyenoord, but announced in early July that he didn’t want to extend his current contract with the English team. Since he was entering the last year of his deal he would have been eligible to walk away from the team as a free agent at the conclusion of the upcoming season. Arsenal could have forced him to play out his contract, but realized they’d be throwing the transfer fee off more than 20 million pounds out the window if they did.
Van Persie claimed he didn’t want to re-sign with Arsenal since the club hasn’t won a trophy since capturing the FA Cup in a penalty shootout in 2005. Man United lost the league last year on the final day of the season to Manchester City, but have won numerous trophies over the past couple of decades. Van Persie isn’t the only big-name player to leave Arsenal. Last year Cesc Fabregas did the same thing when he joined Barcelona, and Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, and Emmanuel Adebayor have all left the team since 2009, with all of them joining Manchester City.
United already has a wealth of strikers in their lineup, including Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Federico Macheda, and Dimitar Berbatov. It’s likely that Berbatov may now be sold to make way for Van Persie. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had a good idea that Van Persie would be leaving and signed French international and German international Lukas Podolski over the summer to replace him.