Robin van Persie accuses Arsenal of 'playing games' over transfer to Manchester United

The striker reveals how he feared his £24m move to Old Trafford might have been scuppered

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Robin van Persie has accused the directors at Arsenal of “playing games” over his future last summer.

The Netherlands international eventually secured a £24m transfer to Old Trafford but admits he feared the deal could have collapsed.

The 29-year-old says Manchester United was always his first choice, but with interest also shown by Manchester City and Juventus, getting the move he wanted was no certainty.

"It was [difficult] because it wasn’t only me who decided where I went to play," the Netherlands striker said in an interview with MUTV. "I also depended on my former club as well and how they saw it. And then of course you always have these games that the directors play.

"It's a bit like a rollercoaster. Some days it is looking good and other days it is worse. You don’t really know what to expect because things can change so quickly. It normally depends on the player and the two teams, but in my case, there were two other teams involved as well.

"One was City and the other one was Juventus. So it was a bit hectic but I always wanted this transfer from day one. Me and Sir Alex knew that it would be a bumpy road but I think that it shows that if you really want something then nothing is impossible. I am glad it happened."

Van Persie enjoyed a fine first season at Old Trafford, netting a total of 30 goals in all competitions that helped propel United to their 20th league title. In his interview with MUTV, the striker revealed the moment he learned he had secured the move he desired.

"I was in the coach and just about to play with Holland. There are no phones allowed in there but I just kept it on me just in case.

"When I heard a small buzz, I looked at it and saw a text from my agent that read, 'The deal is done, enjoy the game.'

"It was a big relief. I wasn’t fined for using my phone either! It was weird because they announced it on TV during the game, which I didn’t know – I thought it was only me who knew. From that moment, everything went so quickly.

"The next day, I had to come for my medical. I went by train from Brussels to London to get my bits and pieces and then on to Manchester. The next one-and-a-half days was very hectic. I had my first training session, and then two days later, we had to play Everton.

"When you go to high school and you are about 12 years old, you wake up early and are nervous about seeing your new class-mates. It was very similar, although I knew most of them.

"But it was like that. I came in, gave everyone a handshake and we had some jokes and some smiles, so it felt good from day one."