Robin van Persie has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson had planned to stay at Manchester United for "three more years" – before announcing his sudden exit in 2013.
The Dutchman was persuaded to join the Red Devils by Ferguson in 2012 and enjoyed a superb maiden season, helping the Premier League giants to their 20th league title crown.
But Van Persie was left disappointed at the end of that campaign when Ferguson brought an end to his glittering 27-year spell at United, which saw him lift a whopping 38 trophies.
And United's former Netherlands superstar has revealed just how surprised the players were by the announcement.
"(He left) a great void," Van Persie explained to SoFoot.
"Even Ryan Giggs didn't know he was going to stop. Neither (Paul) Scholes nor (Rio) Ferdinand, even if they had worked for him for so many years, they had not seen it coming.
"Just before signing, I asked him, " What are your plans? How many more years do you stay?" He had told me that he planned to stay at least three more years.
"For me, it was therefore a great disappointment, because I had signed to Manchester United for him.
"This is life, the coaches come and go, the players are transferred … We must move forward.
"But when people saw Sir Alex Ferguson pulling out, everyone knew it was going to be very hard for the club."
Before joining United, Van Persie earned hero status under Arsene Wenger's stewardship at Arsenal.
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