Sir Alex Ferguson has played down the significance of Mikael Silvestre's move to Arsenal.
The French defender became the first Manchester United player in 34 years to be sold to the Gunners when he signed a deal at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
A number of other clubs had been interested in Silvestre but Ferguson insists he had no problem in letting him join fierce rivals Arsenal.
Silvestre moved to Old Trafford from Inter Milan in 1999 and Ferguson has paid tribute to him for being a loyal servant.
Ferguson told Sky Sports News: "Mikael came to seem me at the end of last season and said he wanted first-team football. I agreed with him.
"He's given me nine years good service so there's no point in holding a player who has lost his place to Patrice Evra.
"He's a really nice lad and a great professional."
The United boss admits that Manchester City came close to signing the 31-year-old before Arsenal came in.
"He has more or less conducted his own affairs," Ferguson explained. "We knew the price we wanted and notified him that clubs had shown an interest.
"Manchester City came on the scene and he was having a medical, but then he got a phone call to go to London and ended up at Arsenal.
"I haven't really spoken to him. We have no complaints, we got the price we wanted and we wish him well."
Asked if Silvestre's switch left him short of defensive cover, Ferguson again dismissed the concerns.
He said: "We could have been selfish and said 'you're going to be a reserve for the rest of your contract'.
"We recognise the service he's given us."