Manchester United have completed the signing of Robin van Persie from Arsenal on a four-year deal for around £24 million.
Van Persie, 29, ends an eight-year association with the Gunners after growing frustrated with the club's direction, having won only the Community Shield and the FA Cup during his time in North London.
As he entered the final year of his contract this summer, he announced that he was unwilling to sign a new deal. Arsene Wenger reluctantly accepted his wishes and, though he made it clear he would have preferred to sell the striker to a club outside England, only Manchester United were both willing and able to fund the deal.
A transfer fee, reported to be in the region of £24 million, was agreed on Wednesday, and Van Persie travelled to Manchester to begin his medical checks, which were completed on Friday.
Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Robin is a world-class striker with a proven record in England and in European football. His talents need no introduction to our fans - he has scored a number of goals against us in some classic battles with his former club. His movement, finishing and all-round ability are outstanding."
Van Persie, will could be eligible to make his debut against Everton on Monday, added: "It's an honour to sign for Manchester United. I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of so many great strikers, bringing my experience and playing my part to help the team compete for the biggest trophies in the game. I can't wait to get started."
Rio Ferdinand believes Van Persie will be a major boost for United.
"He scored 35 goals, he was their player of the year, their captain, and for us to take him and bring him here is fantastic news and I'm sure our fans are jumping for joy," he said. "There are players who play in his position, who are now going to be thinking 'I need to up my game now to make sure I'm in the manager's thoughts and get in the team'. We need to challenge people."
At his press conference on Saturday, Arsene Wenger claimed his critics need to 'deal with reality' following Van Persie's contentious move.
"We live in a job where we have to deal with reality," he said. "Robin had one year left on his contract, he wanted to leave and I'm always surprised that people seem shocked by the reality of a situation like this.
"It would have been easier for him and us if he had gone abroad and not to Manchester United, but it didn't happen. There was only one club who came in with an offer that we felt was at an acceptable level and so this is what we had to do.
"For those who say we shouldn't have allowed Van Persie's contract to run down to just one year, I say this. You need two people willing to sign a contract. Robin didn't want to sign, that was the reality and we had to accept it.
"I agree that we have taken a big gamble by selling a world class player to one of our main rivals, but life goes on, Arsenal football club is 125 years old and it will not stop because one player leaves."
Furious Arsenal fans will hardly be placated by Wenger's insistence that he will not reinvest the money from Van Persie's sale into fresh talent, as he insists his major summer recruitment plans are already finished.
"We were prepared to keep Robin, but always anticipated this move might happen and the players we have signed this summer means we are prepared for this situation," claimed Wenger. "This is why we bought Podolski and Giroud and I don't feel we need any more players in this squad.
"I have a massive squad already and believe in the spirit and quality we have at the club and Van Persie's departure means we need to come together as a team more than even to compensate for the loss of a world class player. I am convinced we will do just that."