Robin Van Persie, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid target, turned down a move to Manchester City before joining their local rivals Manchester United in the summer.
These revelations came as Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal boss, was questioned about the player ahead of their crucial match against RVP’s new team Manchester United at the weekend.
“It is true Manchester City were interested in him and he has chosen to go to United,” said Wenger.
“He could come out more on the reasons but I didn’t want to know more about that.”
Before the prolific striker left for the Red Devils, Arsenal were believed to want to only let the Dutchman go to a non Premier League club if he was to leave the Gunners, with La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid among the favourites to sign him, along with Juventus in Italy.
Wenger was not pleased when he lost his main goalscorer to bitter rivals United, and he will now have to work out how to stop the man he once unleashed on other teams’ defenses when Arsenal take on Manchester United on Saturday.
“Does it hurt more that he left for another English club? That is not exactly what I wished!
“I hope the reception for him is a respectful one because he has played for us for eight years, he has done very well for us. You want him to be respected.
“We campaign against discrimination. It was still the case last week so why should it not be the case this week? I don’t know, I think he will get the reception I hope for.
“Am I surprised he has done so well at Manchester United? No, not really. In Manchester you have good players around him, and Robin is very intelligent around the box.
“You would think that one of the parts of my job is to have a positive influence on people as a player. When you do that you are always satisfied. I think my influence was not too bad.”