Selling a good players to a bitter rival isn't what most coaches like to do, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he'd rather have sent Robin van Persie to a foreign club like Paris St. Germain rather than Manchester United.
"Honestly, I would have preferred to have sold him overseas, to PSG for example, rather than Manchester United," said Wenger in a video released by French broadcaster TF1. "He's an exceptional player in the pure sense of the term. I haven't seen many in my life who have that quality in the first touch, are so technically gifted and have that intelligence of movement in the final 20 meters."
Van Persie is expected to complete his move to Old Trafford soon after Arsenal accepted a bid of around £22 million ($34 million) for its captain. He scored 37 goals for Arsenal in all competitions last season, and his departure will hinder the club's chances of ending a seven-year trophy drought.
"The economic factor is the sole satisfying thing, but you don't play with money on the pitch, you play with the quality of the players. To lose a player of this ilk is tough," Wenger said. "It will give more chances to [Olivier] Giroud because when Van Persie is there, he's hands-down the first name on the teamsheet, and then you pick the others around him. There's a gap to fill, it's up to whoever wants to seize their chance."