Robin van Persie will face Everton – Alex Ferguson
MANCHESTER United manager Alex Ferguson believes Robin van Persie will complete his move to Old Trafford in time to make his debut in the club’s opening match of the Premier League season at Everton.
United have agreed a fee of around £22 million ($34 million, €28 million) to sign van Persie from Arsenal and the Dutch forward is due in Manchester on Thursday for a medical and discussions over his personal terms.
Providing the medical and wage negotiations go smoothly, Ferguson is confident van Persie will pull on a United shirt for the first time at Goodison Park on Monday.
“He is on his way up from London for a medical later this afternoon,” Ferguson said yesterday.
“We hope that goes according to plan. His agent is in discussions with (United chief executive) David Gill right about now.
“We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer. I am sure he will be available for Monday’s game.”
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Van Persie scored 37 goals in all competitions last season, winning both the players’ and football writers’ player of the year awards, and Ferguson expects the 29-year-old to provide a significent boost to United’s bid to regain the Premier League title.
United finished without a trophy last season for the first time since 2005 after Manchester City won the title with two goals in stoppage-time on the final day of the season.
That painful near-miss still rankles with Ferguson and, after beating City in the race to sign van Persie, he can’t wait to unleash an attacking quartet that reminds him of the group that fired United to treble glory in 1999.
Then it was Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who delivered the goals and Ferguson believes van Persie and Wayne Rooney, with support from Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernanez, can be equally deadly.
“Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are two fantastic players and it will be great to have both of them,” he said. “It gives us more strength and more combinations up front.
“In 1999 I had Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the four best strikers in Europe.
“We are going towards that now with Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, Robin, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa.
“It is a fantastic collection of players and hopefully I pick the right combinations.
“It is great to have a player of Robin van Persie’s qualities to come into the squad. I am very pleased.”