Arsene Wenger explains why he rejected Robin van Persie’s plea to rejoin Arsenal

Arsene Wenger explains why he rejected Robin van Persie’s plea to rejoin Arsenal

Arsene Wenger says Robin van Persie contacted him to try and arrange a return to Arsenal in 2015, but he decided to turn the Dutchman down.

Van Persie had sparked fury among the Gunners fans by joining Manchester United in the summer of 2012 after scoring 132 goals in 278 games for the north London club.

But having won only the 2005 FA Cup during his time at Arsenal, he picked up the Premier League title in his first season at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The legendary Scot left in the summer of 2013, and two years later Van Persie found himself on the fringes of the team at United and looking for a transfer.

Wenger says that’s when the Dutchman contacted him, but no reunion could be arranged.


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“In 2012, he announced his intention not to extend his contract,” says Wenger in his new book ‘Arsene Wenger: My Life in Red and White’.

Arsene Wenger explains why he rejected Robin van Persie's plea to rejoin Arsenal

“The supporters were angry with me for this but we could not match the offer. I managed to negotiate his departure for £24million, which was a huge amount at the time for a player with a year left on his contract. I had only the interest of the club in mind.

“My relationship with Alex Ferguson and Manchester United had improved by then, but every transfer is a polite game of poker where you attempt to give not anything away.

“Van Persie had a fantastic first six months at Old Trafford: he put the team on track for the Premiership title and made it even more difficult for us.

“But after three years of the four that he signed for, he was injured and Ferguson [note: it was actually Louis van Gaal] sold him to the Turkish club Fenerbahce.

“He called me because he wanted to come back, but it was impossible: he was at the end of his career and we were investing in young players.”

Culled from

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