Robin van Persie 'release clause' could see striker leave Manchester United if they fail to qualify for Champions League

Suggestions that a clause exists in his current deal that allows him to seek a move away from Old Trafford if United fail to reach the top four has sparked talk of an exit at the end of the season

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 11 March 2014 12:25 GMT
(Getty Images)

Robin van Persie is believed to have a clause in his contract that allows him to discuss a move away from Manchester United should they miss out on a top-four finish in this season’s Premier League.

The striker is understood to be unhappy with life at Old Trafford since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, and the form United have shown since David Moyes took over has not helped smooth over relations with the striker United landed from rivals Arsenal in 2012 for £24m.

Reports have linked the Gunners with a return bid for their former captain, but claim that a clause exists in his current deal that allows him to seek a move away from the club should they meet the required valuation.

United would still have to sanction the move, but the report claims that the current Dutch national team captain will seek a move overseas and not to his former stomping ground in north London. While a number of conditions can affect the move, it certainly increases the likelihood that van Persie will not be with the club when next season gets underway.

The 30-year-old was visibly unhappy with Moyes’ decision to substitute him for Danny Welbeck in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over West Brom, with the referee Jon Moss having to point van Persie off the pitch as the Dutchman shook his head, obviously displeased with the choice to haul him off after 60 minutes. United looked far more balanced from then-on, with both Wayne Rooney and Welbeck adding to Phil Jones’ opener.

Having fired United to Premier League success last season – his 26 goals seeing Ferguson’s side win the title with four games to spare – everything appeared to be positive between the club and player, but that soon changed with a number of reported off-field clashes between van Persie and Moyes.

With Arsenal and Liverpool said to be put off making a move for van Persie due to his age and wage demands, the only viable destinations in the Premier League would be Chelsea and Manchester City – the former openly searching for a new striker given this season’s failing.

But the more likely option would be to leave England after 10 years on these shores, with a range of top European clubs believed to be monitoring his situation closely – Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus and Monaco all said to be interested.

Given his unhappiness, Moyes could be prepared to cash in on van Persie and continue his squad revamp by adding a new world-class striker to his ranks, having taken care of Wayne Rooney’s future by securing him to a long-term contract. Uruguayan Edinson Cavani has been linked with the Red Devils, although any move for a big name would likely hinge on van Persie’s departure, and his £250,000-a-week salary could pose a stumbling block should negotiations begin.

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