Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has accused the Arsenal board of 'playing games' whilst he was negotiating with United ahead of a potential move back in the summer.
The 29-year-old was entering his final year of his contract and decided not to sign a new one, which left Arsenal with the decision of either keeping him one more year, losing him on a free next summer or cash in on him.
The striker announced his intentions via his personal website and a month or so later he completed a move to fierce Premier League rivals Manchester United for a fee estimated around £24 million.
Despite moving to United, there was big interest in Van Persie from Manchester City and Juventus and Arsenal used that to their advantage when trying to get a substantial fee for their deadly striker.
Talking to MUTV, the club's official TV station, Van Persie admitted it was a tough period, as he didn't have the final say on where he wanted to play next season and he admitted that the directors played games during the negotiations between the two clubs.
“It was [difficult] because it wasn’t only me who decided where I went to play,’ the Holland striker said, in an interview with MUTV. ‘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.”
After talking about the negotiation period, the Dutch striker then went on to reveal how the news broke to him that the deal was done between the two clubs and he said that it was his agent who text him during an international break.
“I was in the coach and just about to play with Holland,” he said. “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 were 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.”
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