There have been reports that Manchester united assistant manager Rene Meulensteen was the one who convinced Robin Van Persie to the join the Red Devils, This was been revealed by Arsene Wenger and he said it will be strange to see the former Arsenal striker play against his former team on Sunday as Arsenal are set to take on Manchester united in a premier league fixture
Arsene Wenger will lead his team to old Trafford to take on a struggling side Manchester united just after one year of the controversial sale of Robin Van Persie.
Arsene Wenger today admitted that it was talks with his former captain and top goal scorer, plus the influence of Van Persie’s compatriot Meulensteen that were the deciding factors in agreeing a £24million fee last summer.
The Arsenal boss said: “I think what part of that was is that Robin van Persie had been convinced by the Dutch coach who was at Manchester United. That played a big part in that.”
He added: “It was more the fact that I had the conversations I had with Robin van Persie that convinced me.
“It’s not the talk with Alex Ferguson that convinced me to sell Robin van Persie to Man United.
“It’s the head-to-head talks I had with Van Persie, many times that convinced me that I had to sell him.”
This term, though they have started slowly under new boss David Moyes, Van Persie has scored six times in nine Premier League appearances, including one in each of his last three outings in the top flight, but Wenger admits it is still odd to see him in a different club’s colours.
“Of course, it’s strange because, for me, he’s still an Arsenal man,” said Wenger.
“I took him [from Feyenoord] when he was a young player and we’ve gone together through difficult periods.
“He became a world-class player and, for me, he’s an Arsenal player.”
Asked if Van Persie’s decision to switch clubs was partly to work under Ferguson, Wenger said: “I don’t know. Only Robin van Persie can tell you that. I’m not in a position to do that.
“I think, in the end, I had to decide if I did it [sell him] or not, knowing that I would get huge criticism for doing it.
“But I just decided it because, at the end of the day, I felt it was the best thing to do.”
Arsenal’s form this season has giving hopes to Arsenal Faithfull’s of a first Premier League title triumph since they last won it in 2004 and they sit five points clear at the top after beating fellow early front-runners Liverpool last week.
Last season the picture was very different as Van Persie was the latest in a line of star Arsenal players to have left in successive seasons after Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
Asked if those decisions to leave were now proving too hasty, Wenger said: “Sometimes it’s linked with age. Robin van Persie was 29 when he left and impatient.
“We have gone through years where we had to be tight financially and we did it in a way that was logical and normal without fading too much at the top level.
“Some players saw the other big clubs buying world name players and, of course, they lost a little bit of confidence that we could compete with them.
“It’s understandable but I think we have always been consistent in the way we thought the club has to be run and that, at some stage, we could turn the corner.
“Hopefully we have done it this year.”