Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says landing Robin van Persie is in the same class as his deal for Eric Cantona.

The ace up his sleeve was that RVP had set his heart on a switch to Old Trafford.

Fergie said: "The boy wanted to come, he turned down various other clubs. If he hadn't told Arsenal he wanted to go to United then the transfer would not have happened."

Signing a 29-year-old represents a change of policy for Ferguson, who in recent years has preferred young players.

He added: "It has given everyone a lift. We never thought we could get Van Persie, even if you go back six months I couldn't see us getting him. I didn't think Arsenal would let him go.

"We needed a finished player. We've had several players who have been that sort of catalyst, starting with Eric Cantona."

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