Robin van Persie: Man Utd agree £24m deal with Arsenal for striker

 

Manchester United have agreed a £24m deal to sign Arsenal striker Robin van Persie on a four-year contract.

The 29-year-old will meet with United in the next 48 hours to discuss personal terms and have a medical.

Arsenal career in numbers

Joined: 2004

Transfer fee: £2.75m

Appearances: 278

Goals scored: 132

Goals scored last season: 37

Trophies won: Two (2004 Community Shield & 2004-05 FA Cup)

Consecutive seasons without a trophy: Seven

Arsenal captain Van Persie announced in July he would not extend his current deal, which expires in June 2013.

"Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached agreement for the transfer of Robin Van Persie," the club said in a statement. 

"The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course."

United will pay £22.5m, with a further £1.5m one-off bonus to follow if they win a Premier League or Champions League title in the next four years.

It is understood Arsenal were willing to make Van Persie their highest paid player ever, but never actually offered him a new contract.

The Netherlands international, who scored 44 goals in 57 games for club and country last season, maintained he would not discuss his future until after Arsenal's final match at West Brom on 12 May.

Van Persie statistics

Three days later, he opened dialogue with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis at Wenger's house.

Wenger and Van Persie disagreed on their vision for the club, transfer activity and the team's performance in the 2011-12 campaign.

No contract was discussed and Van Persie joined the Dutch squad on 17 May to begin their preparations for Euro 2012.

He announced he would not be extending his contract on 4 July and returned to training on 17 July, the same week he was the subject of bids from United, Manchester City and Juventus.

All three offers fell short of Arsenal's valuation - they were reluctant to enter formal negotiations until a bid exceeded £20m, and hoped to hold out for £25-30m.

United, City and Juventus increased their offers but, of the three, United were the only side Van Persie would consider joining.

He was not part of the Gunners squad that left on 21 July for a pre-season tour to Asia but did travel with them on 6 August for a week-long training camp in Germany.

It is understood Van Persie was encouraged by the arrivals of Germany forward Lukas Podolski, France striker Olivier Giroud and Spain midfielder Cazorla - to the point where he was open to the idea of staying with or without a new contract.

But Wenger pulled him aside shortly before Sunday's friendly victory over Cologne,  told him he would be sold if a deal could be reached and informed the Dutchman he was no longer part of his plans.

Past transfer dealings

Transfers between Arsenal and Man Utd are rare - Viv Anderson was the last to make the move, in 1987, although Mikael Silvestre did go in the other direction in 2008.

Formal discussions between Arsenal and United began immediately, with Gazidis and United chief executive David Gill agreeing a fee of £22.5m on Tuesday, only for it to be vetoed by Wenger as he held out for £25m.

On Wednesday morning, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson called Wenger to offer £23m and Wenger quoted him £24m.

But a compromise was finally reached on Wednesday evening and Van Persie will travel to Manchester on Thursday to discuss terms and begin his medical.

Van Persie was named Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' player of the year but scored only once as the Netherlands were eliminated at the group stage of Euro 2012.