Football - Premier League

Van Persie 'a retirement gift to Fergie'

Most employees leaving a company after long and faithful service get given a nice watch or a set of bowls to ease their retirement.

 
RVP 'a retirement gift' - Football - Premier LeagueReuters
 

Alex Ferguson's golden handshake from Manchester United is a little different: the £64 million signing of Robin Van Persie.

The Mail on Sunday reports that Ferguson has definitely decided that he will be leaving Old Trafford in two years' time, but before he does so he want to build one final, great team to ensure that he goes out on a high.

And the Dutch striker, whose transfer was completed this week, will be at the heart of his legacy to whoever takes over.

The newspaper reports that "senior figures" at the club opposed spending so much money on one player, perhaps not surprising when you consider that the £24m transfer fee, £1m-a-month wages and £10m bonus payments push the total cost of the deal for the 29-year-old to £64m.

But the Scottish manager is reported to have talked the Glazers into putting up the money to bring the Dutchman in from Arsenal.

"Alex will only be manager for a couple more years so it was time the owners gave him what he wanted. That's Van Persie," a club source told the newspaper.

Ferguson's spending for the summer is not yet complete, however: the United boss has now turned his attention to Everton and England full-back Leighton Baines, though the defender's £17m transfer fee is likely to be funded at least in part by the sales of Dimitar Berbatov.

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