BUOYANT: RM1.25 million-a-week Van Persie fires up Fergie ahead of new season
SIR Alex Ferguson has warned his rivals that he has assembled one of the most fearsome strikeforces in Europe as Manchester United tied up their STG24 million (RM120 million) capture of Arsenal's Robin Van Persie.
The Dutchman is set to make his United debut in Monday's Premier League opener at Everton after having a medical in Manchester on Thursday while his representatives negotiated personal terms in the region of STG250,000 a week, or STG12m a year, the same as Wayne Rooney.
Van Persie, 29, will now join forces at Old Trafford with Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, who greeted his arrival on Thursday by promising 'goals galore' this season.
Add the creative spark of Shinji Kagawa and Ferguson believes he has an attack to rival the unstoppable combination of Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who fired United to a League, Champions League and FA Cup Treble in 1999.
Asked about pairing Rooney with Van Persie, Ferguson said: "They're two fantastic players and it's great to have them both. What gives us even more strength are the combinations I have up front. If you go back to the 1999 season when I had Dwight and Andy, Teddy and Ole Gunnar, they were the four best strikers in Europe.
"I think I'm getting towards that now. I've got Chicharito, Wayne, Robin, Danny Welbeck and Kagawa. It's a fantastic collection of players -- hopefully I pick the right combinations. It's great to have a player of Van Persie's quality come into the squad.
"The fee has been agreed and we're delighted with that, of course. Obviously we hope that his medical goes according to plan. Sometimes medicals take a bit longer but I'm sure he'll be available for Monday's game."
Knowing that Van Persie had only 12 months left on his contract, Arsenal finally relented in their fight to stop the striker from joining United and accepted an improved offer on Wednesday.
The arrival of last season's Premier League top scorer threatens Welbeck's starting spot alongside Rooney, but the young England striker echoed his manager by insisting United will benefit from the competition for places.
"It's going to be shared out and hopefully once you're out there it's goals galore for Manchester United," said Welbeck.
"He's a player with great ability and a world-class striker. He can score goals and create goals as well. They're the type of players who win you titles.
"'It's given the club a massive boost, everyone is delighted to have him. I'm really looking forward to playing with him."
Welbeck also welcomed Ferguson's comparison to the team of '99. Asked if the four strikers are all capable of making their mark, he said: "Yes, definitely. We've got a good variety of strikers and we're all capable of scoring goals.
"I was a massive United fan and watched that whole season all the way through. Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, Solskjaer -- that was a great strikeforce.
"Being at United you learn to play with different types of strikers and players. Once we get training together I think everyone will be gelling perfectly." Daily Mail