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.”