Robin van Persie future: Manchester United striker wants to see out career at Old Trafford, and gets behind David Moyes - 'everything he does is spot on'
Dutchman says he would like to extend his contract at the club
Manchester United’s Robin van Persie has declared that he is ready to stay on at Manchester United beyond the two years remaining on his contract, effectively seeing out his career at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman has sought to address persistent doubts about his commitment to the club, which intensified with his apparent unhappiness about his 63rd minute substitution at West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, by giving an emphatic endorsement of manager David Moyes’ coaching methods.
The Dutchman’s discussion of Moyes – in an interview for this weekend’s match programme - delivers a boost to the manager ahead of another huge weekend, on which defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday could means the old enemy effectively displacing United from the Champions League.
“The truth is I’m very happy here at this club. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract,” the 30-year-old said, in a rare interview – the contents of which are likely to dominate Moyes’ weekly press conference at 1.30pm on Friday. “The sessions we have on the training ground are fantastic and I’m learning a lot from them every day. I’ve been a professional footballer for 12 years now and there’s no doubt I’m learning new things and progressing with David Moyes.
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“Over the last few years I’ve started to look more closely at the way coaches work to learn from them – not just here at the club but with the international team as well. I’ve worked with some brilliant coaches and I’ve taken a real interest in all the methods they use and the choices they make. And I can tell you that Moyes’ sessions and the things he says in his team meetings are spot-on. I really enjoy working under him and I’m absolutely convinced things will pick up and we’ll turn it around.
Van Persie offers a firm rebuttal to suggestions that he has “a bad understanding” with Moyes, which has its roots in suggestions that the higher intensity sessions, in which Moyes is heavily involved, do not suit him. “There is mutual respect between us and the work environment is actually good,” Van Persie said. “He really wants things to work here at Manchester United and I want the same, just like the other players. We’re all working hard to make this work.” Van Persie does not have an exit clause allowing him to leave if United fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Moyes is likely to start with Van Persie against Brendan Rodgers’ second-placed Liverpool side, who could go 14 points clear of United with a win at Old Trafford. United have looked more balanced and fluid with Danny Welbeck operating ahead of Wayne Rooney, rather than Van Persie – who has complained that Rooney has been occupying his “spaces” on the field of play. Though keeping the Dutchman on the bench would be a fair reflection of his struggles to replicate last season’s form, the controversy that would create would be unwelcome on such a critical weekend for the Premier League champions.
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