Arsenal win the race to capture £3m Van Persie

Robin Van Persie yesterday became the latest addition to Arsène Wenger's multi-national squad. The Feyenoord forward has moved for an undisclosed fee on a long-term contract, although the 20-year-old, who can operate as a striker or winger, is not expected to have cost more than £3m. Feyenoord say he signed a four-year deal.

The Dutch Under-21 international, who will undergo a medical at Highbury and link up with his new team-mates in the summer, set his sights on helping the Gunners achieve next season's targets. Wenger has earmarked successive titles - allied to Champions' League success - as the goal for his team, and Van Persie said: "I'm delighted to be joining a great club like Arsenal. This is a dream come true for me. The squad is full of players at the top of their game, which they proved by winning the Premier League on Sunday.

"I'm looking forward to meeting my new team-mates in the summer and helping the club to challenge for more honours."

It was second time lucky for Wenger, whose initial bid for Van Persie was rejected during the transfer window in January. He instead paid an initial £10.5m for Jose Antonio Reyes, which will eventually rise to £17m. The Gunners were coincidentally battling Reyes's former club Seville - as well as Werder Bremen and PSV Eindhoven - for Van Persie's signature until finalising the deal.

Wenger confirmed his long-standing admiration of the player, saying: "We've been interested in him since December. We have completed it now because we feel there is something really interesting there. He has great potential."

Van Persie is viewed as the long-term replacement for his compatriot Dennis Bergkamp, who turns 36 in July. The forward, who has won three titles under Wenger, is out of contract at the end of the season but expected to win a 12-month extension for what could be his farewell year.

"He [Van Persie] can play on the left side of midfield, as a creative player behind the main strikers or as a target man," Wenger said. "His main assets are his vision and his technical quality. He's tall too, uses his body well and is quite good in the air - so that's something new for us. Robin is a great young talent and a fantastic signing for the club. He has a great left foot and is a great passer of the ball."

Van Persie has played for the Netherlands since representing his country at Under-16 level. He joined Feyenoord in 2001 as a striker but soon impressed out wide and helped the Rotterdam club win the Uefa Cup in 2002.

After that, the Dutch PFA named him the Netherlands' best young talent and his six goals in 27 league games this season have helped his club to third place in the league and within touching distance of European qualification again.

Arsenal expect to officially register Van Persie as their player on 17 May, when the transfer window reopens.

One player Arsenal are unlikely to procure is Steven Gerrard, despite reports that the Liverpool and England midfielder is wanted at Highbury as well as at Old Trafford.

Gerrard's manager, Gérard Houllier, struck a defiant pose yesterday, saying: "You would have to cut off both my arms before I let go of Steven Gerrard because I would have them both wrapped around him. We have big plans for him here. I want him to not only become Player of the Year in England but he has every chance to be European and World Player of the Year in the future as well."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor