While Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has spent the campaign lamenting his failure to sign Van Persie from Arsenal last summer, Ferguson has profited from his intuition.
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. To an outsider, it seemed like a gamble. To Ferguson, it was anything but.
"It was a lot of money for a player in the last year of his contract," said the Scot.
"But the thing about it is - as it proved with Manchester City the year before when they paid £24million for Samir Nasri -- you either want him or you don't.
"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."
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