The 30-year-old Netherlands international arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2012 to join Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United from Arsenal where he spent eight years under Arsene Wenger.
The Dutchman has struggled to find form and fitness this term under David Moyes who took over from Ferguson after 26 years in charge of the Red Devils in May but found himself axed this week after a disappointing debut season with the soon-to-be disposed Premier League champions.
United were crowned champions under Ferguson in his final term largely due to the firepower added in the form of Van Persie who won the Golden Boot for the last two seasons in a row but this term, under Moyes, the striker has scored less than half his tally of last year, 11 goals across 18 appearances for the Red Devils.
The sacking of David Moyes could be crucial to Van Persie’s future – whilst the striker’s contract runs until 2016 he was understood to be unhappy (and certainly looked it) with the style of play and system under Moyes and, according to a Dutch fitness expert who has known him from a young age, Moyes’ training regime may be behind his injury struggles this term ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer which will likely be his last.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have relied for the most part this season on only one recognised centre-forward in Olivier Giroud and are expected to sign a striker this summer to come in and compete with the Frenchman and young raw talent Yaya Sanogo. The names most often suggested in previous transfer windows have been Karim Benzema Mario Mandzukic and Juventus duo Mirko Vucinic and Fernando Llorente.
The Spaniard especially had been suggested as a target for Wenger prior to his move from Athletic Bilbao to the Italian champions and Vucinic’s name has been linked in connection to the Gunners since Carlos Tevez arrived to join The Old Lady.
Van Persie is now reportedly being eyed by the Serie A giants to join the ranks and should he become available, I would suspect that could make life easier for the Gunners to sign one of Llorente and Vucinic if they so desired.
However, back at Old Trafford, the frontrunner to take Moyes’ position on a permanent basis is none other than Netherlands coach Luis van Gaal whom Van Persie has a strong and successful relationship with at international level. Should the Dutch coach arrive at Old Trafford, Van Persie will most certainly be more keen to stay.
There is a lot riding on the Red Devils’ choice of replacement for Moyes – if Van Gaal comes in, that will likely mean Van Persie will stay but if the club decide to go a different route, the Dutchman may fancy his chances elsewhere, at a club that can offer Champions League football but that could be just the trigger to ease Arsenal’s quest for a centre-forward.