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By ESPN Staff

Gunner Van Persie wanted to play for Rangers

Holland star Robin van Persie has revealed he was ''desperate'' to join Rangers as a teenager.

The Arsenal forward, 25, was approached by former Ibrox boss Dick Advocaat - in his role as director of football - but the move never materialised.

He said: ''There was some interest from Rangers when I was at Feyenoord.

''The problem for me was they didn't come in and make an offer. I was quite interested because I really wanted to leave my club.

''Rangers are massive, like Celtic. I speak to (Celtic defender) Glenn Loovens and he tells me lots of stories about the stadium and Scotland itself.

''My European debut was against Rangers at Ibrox and that was a fantastic moment. When I heard about their interest, I sat by the phone hoping it would ring.

''I was in a difficult situation at my club and desperate to leave. Advocaat told me he needed to sell some players before he could buy. That's why it dragged on and did not happen.''

Van Persie also believes Arsenal's experience of handling pressure should ensure they hold off the challenge of Aston Villa.

The 25-year-old told Sky Sports News: "We are going from strength to strength. And that is what we want.

"We are still in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, and we are in fourth spot now. So I think things are looking quite good now.

"Definitely (we can hold off Villa). We are three points ahead now. Aston Villa did a really good job, but if you look at the history, in my opinion, we can handle the pressure better than them.

"We are used to the pressure. Lot's of things can still happen, but I am quite confident."

The Dutchman suggested Arsenal are now targeting third place, adding: "I am a positive guy. We are six points behind Chelsea and we still have to play them. We need a really good run. Anything is possible in football."

He continued: "We don't just want to feature in the Champions League, we want to win it. If you look at our draw, I think it was a good one.

"If we could have picked one team, I think we would have picked Villarreal. We are quite happy with it. We will see how it goes."

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