Robin van Persie has revealed that his move to Manchester United almost never came to fruition due to matters beyond his control.
Van Persie has always insisted Manchester United were always his first choice, but with Man City and Juventus also showing more than a passing interest in the striker Arsenal had options as to who they sold him to.
The 29 year old eventually got the move he so badly sought and it immediately paid off as he won the first league title of his career, firing in 26 goals in the process, but Van Persie admits he did worry at times.
Speaking in an interview with MUTV, Van Persie said:
“It was [difficult] because it wasn’t only me who decided where I went to play. 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 also spoke of the moment when he knew the deal had been completed, claiming it was a big relief:
“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.”