Van Persie Nears Manchester Utd. Move as Clubs Agree on Fee

Robin van Persie is set to complete his move to Manchester United after Arsenal agreed on a fee for the sale of its captain, who said last month that he wouldn’t extend his contract with the London soccer team.

Van Persie, 29, who led the Premier League with 30 goals last season, will travel to Manchester today to discuss personal terms with United and have a physical exam. United opens its season at Everton on Aug. 20.

“I’m sure he’ll be available for Monday’s game,” manager Alex Ferguson said at a press conference today in Manchester.

Details of the transfer fee weren’t released in statements by either club. United will pay 22.5 million pounds ($35.4 million), with a further 1.5 million one-time bonus to follow if the club wins a Premier League or European Champions League title in the next four years, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported, without saying where it got the information.

Van Persie would become the first direct transfer from Arsenal to United since the Premier League began 20 years ago. Ferguson made Gunners defender Viv Anderson his first signing in 1987.

The Dutch forward said July 4 that he wouldn’t sign a contract extension with the north London club, alerting United, English league champion Manchester City and Italian Serie A winner Juventus to his potential availability.

Following a meeting with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive officer Ivan Gazidis, Van Persie said in a statement on his personal website that he disagreed with their vision for the club, which last won a trophy in 2005.

New Signings

Van Persie would join Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa and English midfielder Nick Powell as new acquisitions since United was denied a record-extending 20th league championship on the final day of last season, when City scored two goals in stoppage time to beat Queens Park Rangers and snatch the title. United striker Wayne Rooney last week said he was excited by the prospect of playing alongside Van Persie.

“He’s a fantastic player,” Rooney told reporters. “He’s been amazing for Arsenal over many years. If he does come here, he would be a great addition to the squad.”

Van Persie joined Arsenal in 2004 from Feyenoord and has scored 132 goals in 278 appearances, including 37 in 48 games in all competitions last season, when he captained the team.

He was voted the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ player of the year, though scored only once as the Netherlands was eliminated at the group stage of the 2012 European Championship.

Arsenal decided to sell the player rather than have him leave as a free agent at the end of the season. He was in the final year of his contract.

The Gunners bought Germany striker Lukas Podolski from Cologne and Olivier Giroud, the leading scoring in France’s Ligue 1 last season, from Montpellier. Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla joined from Malaga.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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