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Arsene Wenger rejected Robin van Persie to join Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has revealed how he rejected the chance to sign Robin van Persie after joining United.

“In 2012, he announced his intention not to extend his contract,” Wenger wrote in his new book “Arsene Wenger, My Life in Red and White”.

“All the big clubs were courting him. I sold him to Manchester United. The fans were mad at me for it, but we couldn’t match the offer. I managed to negotiate his departure for £ 24million which was a huge sum at the time for a player with a year left on his contract. I had in mind only the interests of the club.

“My relationship with Alex Ferguson and Manchester United had improved by then, but every transfer is a polished poker game where you try to give nothing.

“Van Persie had a fantastic first half at Old Trafford: he put the team on track for the Premiership title and made it even more difficult for us. But after three of the four years he signed for, he was injured and Ferguson (sic) sold him to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

“He called me because he wanted to come back, but it was impossible: he was at the end of his career and we were investing in young players.

(Image: Manchester United FC 2012)

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