Arsene Wenger always knew he would shift the Barclays Premier League title battle in favour of Manchester United when he let Robin van Persie leave Arsenal for Old Trafford.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson put in a personal call to Wenger as he aimed to push through a £24million deal and beat bitter rivals Manchester City to the signature of the Dutchman. Wenger was in no doubt that whichever of the Manchester clubs landed the Arsenal skipper would be in the driving seat for the championship.

"It was a very professional phone call (from Ferguson) and there was more than one. I will tell you the rest another day," said Wenger, whose side host City on Sunday. "You know when you sell Robin van Persie to Manchester United, that (they lead the league) will be the case."

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