After years of speaking about value and youth, Ferguson spent £24million on a player edging towards 30, with only a year left on his contract and a dubious injury record. “It was a lot of money for a player in the last year of his contract,” he said.
“You have to pay the price that the club are sticking out for, whether it is one year on his contract, two or three. We wanted him badly, so we were prepared to go the extra mile,” he added. The rewards have been startling. Van Persie’s 20th goal of the season saved United’s FA Cup hopes at West Ham.