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Premier League

Robin van Persie happier playing for Netherlands than Manchester United, says Louis van Gaal

There has been increasing speculation over the Dutch striker's future

Robin van Persie is happier playing for the Netherlands than Manchester United, claims Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.

The former Arsenal striker has endured a difficult campaign in comparison to his first at Old Trafford. While he netted 30 goals in his first term after joining from Arsenal, this season he has been beset by injuries and scored just 13 goals.

There has been speculation that Van Persie is unhappy that Sir Alex Ferguson, who was so instrumental in bringing him to Old Trafford, opted to retire. There has even been talk of a shock return to Arsenal.

The comments from Netherlands manager Van Gaal, who is currently in Brazil for a Fifa workshop, will only add to that impression.

"I think he should be great in the tournament because he loves to play in the Dutch squad," said Van Gaal, whose side start with a daunting match against holders Spain in their opening World Cup fixture.

He added: "The football from Man United now is for him maybe difficult, but then he wishes to show his techniques. Techniques in the Dutch team for him is higher.

"He has shown that all the qualification matches more than ever because he's our top scorer and I hope he can continue this."


Meanwhile, Manchester United look set to tie Wayne Rooney to a new deal at Old Trafford.