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Lehmann: Penalty calls have hit Arsenal


Fergie: Strike options now as good as '99

Sir Alex Ferguson believes the signing of Robin van Persie will give him a strikeforce to compare with the prolific quartet who helped fire Manchester United to Champions League glory in 1999.

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United have had a £24 million bid accepted for Arsenal captain Van Persie, who is likely to complete his move to Old Trafford on Thursday.

Ferguson expects the Dutchman to make his debut in Monday's match at Everton, where he could join Wayne Rooney in a partnership comprising the two top scorers in the Premier League last season.

"They are two fantastic players and it's great to have the both of them," Ferguson said. "It's great to have a player of Van Persie's qualities coming into the squad. He is on his way up from London, he will have a medical later this afternoon and we hope that goes according to plan.

"His agent is in talks with David [Gill]. Hopefully everything will be tied up by the end of the day. I am sure he will be available for Monday's game."

Together with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, plus Shinji Kagawa, Ferguson feels he has a group of forwards to rival the class of 1999.

Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke started the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, while Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to score the goals.

Ferguson added: "If you go back to 1999 season and we had Dwight and Andy and Teddy and Ole Gunnar - the four best strikers in Europe - and we are getting back towards that now.

"We have got Chicharito, we have got Wayne, we have got Robin, we have got Danny Welbeck and we have got Kagawa. That is a fantastic combination of players. Hopefully I pick the right combinations."

Ferguson was speaking as Manchester United announced a three-year partnership with bwin, now the club's official gaming partner.


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