van Persie’s comments upon signing for Manchester United that “the little boy inside [him] was screaming for Manchester United” may now turn out to have some basis in fact – rather than purely an exercise in public relations at they first appeared.
The summer saga surrounding the Dutchman kicked-off when he publicly criticized Arsene Wenger’s direction of the club and formerly announced on his website that he would not be signing a new contract at the Emirates.
What ensued was a game of cat-and-mouse between Arsene Wenger – who stuck to his ‘we won’t sell van Persie’ mantra – and both Manchester bosses Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini.
Ferguson admired the player, then courted the player in the press – even sending in Wayne Rooney to talk-up the promise of a striking partnership.
Mancini played the rumors down – suggestions that he wanted granted permission to spend the kind of cash Arsenal were asking for their captain and best player might have been wide of the mark, though.
Arsene Wenger now claims City did if fact offer Arsenal a fee – enough that they would let contract talks commence.
"It is true that Manchester City were interested in him and he has chosen to go to United,” stated the Arsenal boss.
“He could come out more on the reasons but I didn’t want to know more about that.”
Gunners’ fans smelled another rat after van Persie made his desire to leave the Emirates known – many suspected he was yet another mercenary in the mould of Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy who parted ways with the North Londoners for clubs that offered them much higher salaries.
But it seems, if Wenger’s claims are accurate, the Dutchman really did just want to play for Manchester United – for better or for worse.
image: © wonker