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Van Persie signs for Manchester United

Manchester United have made the biggest signing of the Premier League pre-season. Dutch striker Robin Van Persie has agreed to join them from Arsenal for a fee of £23 million.

The transfer has been a protracted saga throughout the summer, after van Persie suggested that Arsenal could not match his own ambitions. Manchester City and Juventus were also interested in signing the player and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wanted to keep Van Persie or sell to a club that was not a Premier League rival.

Not for the first time, Wenger was disappointed. In recent seasons, Arsenal’s failure to keep their key players has been notable, with Van Persie joining an exodus that has included Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. His departure will frustrate Arsenal fans all the more because the 29 year-old had his best season for the club last year and won the PFA and Football Writers’ awards for player of the year.

Although Wenger had claimed that he wanted Van Persie to stay, it was obvious that he was prepared for his departure, having signed German striker Lukas Podolski and French forward Olivier Giroud. "We have already replaced him in buying Podolski and Giroud," he told French TV. "We are sad to lose a player of his quality but he had one year left on his contract so we had no choice."

"He's a fantastic player," his new team-mate at Manchester United Wayne Rooney said. "He's been amazing for Arsenal over many years. If he does come here, he would be a great addition to the squad."

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