What Robin van Persie asked Sir Alex Ferguson ‘seconds’ before signing for Man Utd

Robin Van Persie Signs For Manchester United FC
Sir Alex Ferguson told Robin van Persie he would continue in management for another three years (Picture: Getty)

Former Manchester United star Robin van Persie has revealed he asked Sir Alex Ferguson about his retirement plans just seconds before putting pen to paper on a deal to sign for the club.

The Dutchman signed a four-year deal with the Red Devils in 2012 after United agreed a controversial £22million deal with rivals Arsenal.

Van Persie had multiple offers to leave the Gunners and it appeared as though the race for his signature was a straight shootout between Juventus and Manchester City.

However, the Dutchman chose Old Trafford after United entered the bidding late into the summer and he says Ferguson was the deciding factor in his decision.

Manchester United v Swansea City - Premier League
Van Persie was desperate to add more silverware to his collection but he couldn’t manage it (Picture: Getty)

But, though Van Persie was keen on a move to the Theatre of Dreams, he’s revealed that moments before he signed for the club he had to check with Ferguson how long he planned on continuing in management.

Ferguson told Van Pesie he intended on sticking round for at least another three years but he lasted just 12 months as he retired at the end of the season.

Van Persie admits that came as a shock but he understood the decision.

‘That was a bit of a shock,’ Van Persie told Premier League Productions.

‘Just before I signed, I literally had the pen in my hand and I said ‘One more thing Sir Alex, how much longer are you planning to stay?’ and he said ‘At least three more years’.

‘To be fair the reason why he stopped was family reasons and family comes first.

‘He was one of the big reasons I signed so it was a blow but then that is football. players come and go, managers too. He played 26 years and built the club up but that’s life.’

Van Persie still had three years to run on his four-year deal at the club when Ferguson retired and he was intent on adding to the league title that he won in his first campaign.

However, United struggled in Ferguson’s absence, with his replacement David Moyes failing to see out his first season.

Van Persie stuck around for a further 12 months under Louis van Gaal before departing and the Dutchman admits a drop in ‘standards’ was inevitable after Ferguson’s departure.

Van Persie spent three years at Old Trafford (Picture: DAZN)

‘We did struggle because we ended up being 7th,’ admitted Van Persie.

‘From such a high…we were thinking about winning the Champions League and moving on.

‘It was a new period as well with Scholesey coming to the end, Giggsy taking a player/coach role. It was all new.

‘Moyes was not to blame, anyone who came in after Ferguson good luck to you. It was not only him to blame, it was us as well. The standards were so high but they dropped.’

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