Arsenal had no choice but to sell van Persie, Wenger claims

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed the Gunners were left with no choice but to sell captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United, insisting that the striker’s expiring contract left the club with little option, ESPN has reported.

Wenger told French television that van Persie’s decision to reject a new contract earlier in the summer, combined with his existing deal entering its final year, meant the club had little option but to sanction the move. He said: “It’s sad to lose a player of his quality. He had a year left on his contract so we didn’t have the choice.

Van Persie is expected to join United imminently in a deal worth more than £22m in transfer fees and £200,000 per week to the player in wages, ESPN adds. A medical still has to be completed and personal terms fully agreed but the 29-year-old could make his United debut in their first game of the new Premier League season, away to Everton on Monday evening.

Wenger added that he did not see the need to dip into the transfer market to replace van Persie as he had already done so this summer. Strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have moved to the Emirates Stadium from FC Koln and Montpellier respectively.

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