Manchester United have shelled out over £70 MILLION to prise Robin van Persie away from Arsenal. The Sunday Mirror says United have already paid ­Arsenal £24m for the Dutch striker - and van Persie's basic wages of £200,000 a week at Old ­Trafford over four years will be worth £36m.

He will also be paid £10m ­loyalty money, spread over the length of his stay. And there are bonuses to be added - which tally up to a stunning £70 million outlay from United's money men.

A senior source at the Emirates said: "It did not come into the equation that it was Manchester United. They offered the asking price.

"And if Robin had stayed for this season, he could have joined United - or any other Premier League club, come to that - for free next summer and we would have got no compensation."

And the source added: "Arsene Wenger will get every penny of the fee for his own transfer kitty."