Manchester United have been accused of secretly working in an attempt to get Robin van Persie off their books this summer, according to former Netherlands forward Pierre van Hooijdonk.
According to the Daily Mirror, the ex-Nottingham Forest and Celtic man has claimed that the Premier League side are keen to shift their striker during this window, as he will be able to leave for nothing next year.
“Agents and others were searching for big clubs who are prepared to pay the high fee involved for van Persie. Robin’s contract expires next year, so this is the moment when United can still get money for him,” he said.
The 45-year-old has revealed that his compatriot would rather stay at Old Trafford, but is concerned that the decision may be out of his hands.
“Van Persie is in a difficult situation. To the outside world he says he is happy to stay and I can understand this. But Robin has the feeling that United want to get rid of him,” he added.
The Mirror report that one of van Hooijdonk’s former sides Fenerbahce are interested in signing the 31-year-old. And while the pundit believes that a move to Turkey may not be right for him, he does suggest that the Dutchman needs to leave the Premier League side.
“Of course the money is good, life is good in Istanbul, but it is not a big football league in Europe we are talking about,” he suggested.
“I would advise Robin to leave United this summer. All the signals are there that the club wants to sell him. So he has to get out on time,” he added.
Despite finishing the season with ten goals in the top flight, injuries once again played a part in his campaign. And as his last goal came in February, it would not be a surprise if Louis van Gaal wishes to sign a younger striker, who may be more reliable on the injury front.
Nevertheless, if van Hooijdonk’s claims are correct, it does appear to be a sad end to the Premier League career of one of the division’s most ruthless strikers.