Van Persie to make ManUnited debut against Everton
MANCHESTER, England ● Sir Alex Ferguson believes the signing of Robin van Persie will give him a strikeforce to compare with the prolific quartet who helped fire Manchester United to Champions League glory in 1999.
United have had a £24 million bid accepted for Arsenal captain Van Persie, who is likely to complete his move to Old Trafford after his medical that is going on right now.
Ferguson expects the Dutchman to make his debut in Monday’s match at Everton, where he could join Wayne Rooney in a partnership comprising the two top scorers in the Premier League last season.
“They are two fantastic players and it’s great to have the both of them,” Ferguson said. “It’s great to have a player of Van Persie’s qualities coming into the squad. He is on his way up from London, he will have a medical later this afternoon and we hope that goes according to plan.
“His agent is in talks with David [Gill]. Hopefully everything will be tied up by the end of the day. I am sure he will be available for Monday’s game.”
Arsene Wenger insists his hand was forced after Arsenal reached a deal to sell captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United.
Subject to a medical and agreeing personal terms, Van Persie, who is set to earn a reported £200,000-a-week at Old Trafford, could make his United debut against Everton on Monday after the clubs agreed a deal, thought to be worth in the region of £22 million.
Van Persie announced his intention to leave Arsenal last month after failing to thrash out a new deal with the Gunners, and Wenger admits he had no choice but to cash in on the striker – or run the risk of losing last season’s player of the year on a free transfer next summer.
However, Wenger insists Arsenal are well equipped to deal with the Dutchman’s departure, and he has already signed ready-made replacements in the shape of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
“It’s sad to lose a player of his quality,” Wenger told TF1. “He had a year left on his contract so we didn’t have the choice.”
Together with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, plus Shinji Kagawa, Ferguson feels he has a group of forwards to rival the class of 1999.
Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke started the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, while Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to score the goals.
Ferguson added: “If you go back to 1999 season and we had Dwight and Andy and Teddy and Ole Gunnar – the four best strikers in Europe – and we are getting back towards that now.
“We have got Chicharito, we have got Wayne, we have got Robin, we have got Danny Welbeck and we have got Kagawa. That is a fantastic combination of players. Hopefully I pick the right combinations.”