Robin van Persie exit talk: Manchester United prepared to fight if Dutchman seeks summer exit from Old Trafford
Despite signals that the former Arsenal player is unhappy, there remains a deep conviction from the top of United that he has not resolved to leave
Manchester United are prepared to dig their heels in, as they did with Wayne Rooney last summer, if Robin van Persie’s frustration with the club’s struggles leads a rival to attempt to entice him away with the promise of Champions League football this summer.
United already anticipate the need to replace six players this summer – with three of the experienced defenders likely to leave – and they feel any more disruption could prove unsettling to the dynamic of the squad. Their ambition to regain the Premier League title next season will also be severely dented in Van Persie asks to leave. The Dutchman will enter the final two years of his contract this summer and United have no intention of allowing him to cut it short and go.
But though Van Persie’s frank comments on United’s performance in the 2-0 defeat at Olympiakos revealed his frustration with the club’s plight, there remains a deep conviction from the top of United that he has not resolved to leave. United are not anticipating the same trouble with Van Persie this summer as they did when Jose Mourinho tried to lure Rooney to Chelsea in the last close season. The club have not felt the need to rush into contract talks with the 30-year-old and no discussions about an extension have yet started.
As The Independent reported late on Tuesday night, Van Persie felt that he was being crowded out by his teammates during the defeat in Athens. "A lot of times I go and search for the ball because I don't get it too often. That's difficult because some of my team-mates stand in zones where I like to play,” he said. "That's why I have to change my running direction and that's a pity." But he is also reported to have told Dutch media that United are “in a lousy position in the league, we're out of the cups and the Champions League looks difficult also. We are very disappointed. It's a tough season.”
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