Robin van Persie’s never shy of speaking his mind and has lifted the lid on his departure from Manchester United.
The Dutch forward has admitted that upon returning for pre-season training he realised he had no future at the club. ‘When I came back, it wasn’t an honest battle anymore. Fighting to get back in the team wasn’t given me as an option,’ Van Persie told the Times. ‘He (Van Gaal) was sending me to Pitch Two. And I’m a mature player. I’m not stupid. I didn’t get angry or emotional. These things are part of football, part of life. You have to make the best out of any situation so I’m doing this by moving on.’
He recently signed for Fenerbahce and though the writing was on the wall when he returned from his holiday, Van Persie said he began to notice that things weren’t quite going right towards the end of last season when he was left as an unused substitute in a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea. ‘That was one of the first signals things weren’t going in the right direction,’ he admits. ‘I asked to play in the reserves to get my minutes, but after was on the bench again. The atmosphere changed between me and Louis and people at the club saw it, but I was always professional. At that point I didn’t think to leave. Bouchra (his wife) was happy. The kids were happy. I was happy in Manchester.’
Van Persie spent 3 years at Old Trafford, making a significant contribution in that first season after his £24m move from Arsenal. He scored a number of goals as United won the League but found himself struggling during his last 18 months at the club. The Sunday Times interview also has more about the Dutchman’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Van Persie may well end up back at Old Trafford as soon as August if Fenerbahce qualify for the Champions League play off and are drawn to face United.