Rio Ferdinand has revealed how badly Robin van Persie took the news that Sir Alex Ferguson was retiring in a letter penned to his former team-mate ahead of his transfer to Fenerbahce.
Van Persie was pictured boarding a plane on his way to Istanbul over the weekend ahead of completing a £4.7 million move, with reports suggesting he was leaving because he felt 'betrayed' by Louis van Gaal.
Ferguson took Van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United back in 2012 and the Dutchman immediately repaid the faith by scoring 26 league goals to help the Red Devils claim their 13th Premier League title.
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However his time at Old Trafford went downhill from there and last year he managed just 10 goals in the Premier League thanks to a lack of form and fitness, his lowest return since 2010, and now Van Gaal has decided to move him on.
It has previously been suggested that Van Persie's relationship with Van Gaal has deteriorated after captaining his Dutch side at the World Cup last summer, and now Ferdinand, who left Manchester United to join QPR last year before retiring has hinted that the problem dates back to Ferguson's shock retirement in 2013.
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He wrote on his official Facebook page: "The moment Sir Alex Ferguson told us in the changing room at Carrington that he was retiring, I looked to my left around 6 lockers where I saw a totally devastating looking RVP... he was shaking his head in shock, completely disheartened it seemed. Robin took it the worst out of the whole squad.
"I, like many of the squad had been lucky enough to have played under Fergie for many years but Robin had just got to the club and part of his fairy-tale of joining was playing under Sir Alex.
"We would travel to games together and he would talk about him & how he compared or was different to Wenger & ask loads of questions about the great man. He had found a place & a manager that completely got RVP - Ferguson knew RVP 's goals would get us the title back & so throughout the first 6 months of the season he was drilling it home to the other players to get the ball into him or else!
"Imagine the confidence that would have been running through his veins after hearing his boss talk like that to a team he respected - about HIM and HIS importance to winning! And yes we went on to win the league that year and a large part of that was RVP's goals that got us there!"
Ferdinand went on to praise Van Persie for his technical abilities and singled out his title defining goal against Aston Villa as the best strike of his time with Manchester United. Paris Saint-Germain ace Edinson Cavani has been linked with a move to Old Trafford as the Dutchman's replacement.
Van Persie was unfortunate to join Manchester United at a tumultuous time. He wanted to win the title while he was in the prime of his career which he did, however he couldn't have known that was the end of an era, rather than the start of one.
From there it has been downhill at Old Trafford and now his time is up, but looking back he'll still feel he made the right choice to leave Arsenal. Ask if he'd prefer two FA Cups or a league title and the answer is an easy one.
Do you think Robin van Persie made the right choice to join Manchester United when he did?
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