Juventus reveal the ex-Man Utd and Arsenal ace they most regret missing out on

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 4 Jun 2021 14:07 BST 3 min read
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Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici will depart the club after an 11-year association with the Turin side, bringing to an end a highly successful era that has seen them sign the likes of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

President Andrea Allegri, however, revealed that the one player that they really regret missing out on is another former Manchester United star in the form of Robin van Perisie.

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Indeed, had history been different, Van Persie would have played for Juventus and not Man Utd.

Speaking at Paratici’s farewell press conference, Allegri said: “Today we are here, above all, to celebrate 11 years with Fabio. We have won a lot, enjoyed happy moments, created great sports development projects, such as Juventus Women and the Under-23 side.

“I am thinking of the many players he brought here: I will mention three: Carlos Tevez, Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo. My only regret? Van Persie...”

How close did Van Persie come to signing for Juventus?

Van Persie’s potential move to Juventus arose in 2012, when he became unhappy at Arsenal due to their inability to compete for top honours.

Indeed, Van Persie announced that July he would not renew his contract, which expired the following June. As such, he became available on the open market. It was a race that Sir Alex Ferguson and Man Utd ultimately won.

Following Van Persie’s signing for the Old Trafford side, erstwhile Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger criticised Juventus’ attempts to sign him, suggesting they were trying to rip the Gunners off.

Juventus can't think about selling their players for €70 million and then buying new ones for a tenth of that amount
- Arsene Wenger

“Juventus can't think about selling their players for €70 million and then buying new ones for a tenth of that amount. That would be too easy - it's not possible in today's football,” Wenger told Corriere dello Sport.

“Van Persie would have been a free agent in the summer of 2013 but we decided to sell only after Manchester United made a great offer.”

In the end, Juventus signed Nicklas Bendtner instead of Van Persie from Arsenal, with the Denmark international failing to score a single goal in 11 matches.

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