By MARTIN BLACKBURN
FROM the moment he decided to leave Arsenal, there was only one place that Robin van Persie wanted to go.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini made no secret of his admiration for the Dutch forward while Serie A giants Juventus were keen.
But it was the relatively late interest from Manchester United which really made him sit up and take notice.
He announced on July 4 he would not be signing a new contract with the Gunners and United made their move.
The whole football world wondered where he would start the season — but RVP had quickly made up his mind.
And Alex Ferguson revealed it was the striker’s determination to join the Red Devils which helped the long, drawn-out saga reach a conclusion.
Yesterday it finally became a reality as the 29-year-old sat next to new boss inside Old Trafford.
And he smiled: “When you have to make a hard decision in your life I always listen to the little boy inside me. What does he want? That little boy was screaming for Manchester United. This club breathes football. For me it was quite soon that I made my decision.
“It was based on a lot of things but in every aspect those things went to Manchester United.”
One thing which did appeal — and something that has really got United fans dreaming — is the chance to team up with Wayne Rooney.
The England hitman made no secret of his admiration for RVP last week and the feeling seems to be mutual.
Van Persie scored 37 goals for the Gunners last season but his new strike partner was not far behind him.
RVP said: “Of course I’d love to play with Wayne, I’ve said many times before.
“He’s a world-class player, one of the very best.
“I always look at players and like to see that they can adapt in every single game and Wayne can do that.
“He scores goals and makes assists, he can play for the team and works hard and is a world-class player.”