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RVP set for Goodison Park debut

Robin van Persie could make a stunning Manchester United debut on Monday night, when Sir Alex Ferguson takes his side to Goodison Park.

The Reds have agreed a deal with Arsenal for their talismanic skipper, who scored 30 goals in the Premier League last season. United will pay an initial £20million for the Holland international, but this could rise to £24million depending on additional payments.

Van Persie is now set to undergo a medical in Manchester, and if things go according to plan, the 29-year-old could make his debut on Monday evening, when United open their Premier League account with a difficult trip to Merseyside to face Everton.

"He is on his way up from London for a medical later this afternoon," Ferguson said on Thursday afternoon.  "We hope that goes according to plan. We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer. I am sure he will be available for Monday's game."

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, admits Arsenal had little choice but to cash in on van Persie, who was in the final 12 months of his contract. Had they refused the striker a transfer, they would have lost him – and at least £20million – for nothing at the end of the season.

“We must consider the economic reality and the will of the player,” the French coach told TF1. "When you can't succeed in extending the contract of a player that is in its last year, there is no other way but to let him go. It's sad because he played for us for eight years. He's 29 now. He was 21 when he came and it's another bitter pill to swallow.”

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