Robin van Persie nearly joined Rangers in 2002

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Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has revealed he came close to joining Rangers from Feyenoord in 2002, but after the Scottish club failed to come up with the money needed he moved to Arsenal in a £3 million deal.

The Scottish Daily Record carries quotes from the Holland international, who admitted he was keen to link up with fellow countryman Dick Advocaat at Ibrox, intimating he would've probably ended up north of the border had the Dutch coach managed to cash-in on one of his existing Gers stars.

Advocaat was actually general manager at Rangers at the time after being replaced by Alex McLeish in the dugout, but it was he who had convinced Van Persie to make the surprise switch from his homeland.

"I was still playing for Feyenoord and I wanted to go there [Rangers]. I spoke to Dick and he was interested," confirmed the Red Devils star. "I was ready to go but they first needed to sell one player before they could buy me.

"Dick never told me who it was but I was ready to go until, in the end, I joined Arsenal. It was a good move to leave Holland and going to England was great."

Arsene Wenger's decision to bring a 21-year-old Van Persie to north London two years later proved to be a very shrewd move, especially after Arsenal made a huge profit when selling their former captain to Manchester United for £24 million in 2012.

The £250,000-a-week star left the Emirates Stadium citing a desire to win the Premier League title, and did so during his debut season at Old Trafford in 2012/13 in what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson's final season in charge of the Red Devils.

Van Persie failed to replicate the same level of form in a season that was interrupted by injury last term, and now under the new stewardship of Louis van Gaal he seems to be struggling even more.

Long way back for Rangers...

Still, Rangers fans will probably look back at the chance to sign the Dutchman as a big opportunity missed for a club that is still languishing in the Scottish Championship table following the club's demotion to the basement Division Three in the aftermath of their debt crisis.

Now under the stewardship of Ally McCoist - who has managed to orchestrate back-to-back promotions - there are positive signs that the Gers can get back to their best as they continue to build on their charge up the Scottish football pyramid.

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Robin Van Persie
Manchester United
Premier League

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