Manchester United attacker Robin van Persie is secretly being driven out of the club without the player’s knowledge, former Holland star Pierre van Hooijdonk says.
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Van Hooijdonk, who played with van Persie at Dutch giants Feyenoord, says the Red Devils are attempting to offload the 31-year-old behind the player’s back.
The former Arsenal man has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer having struggled to cement a place in Louis van Gaal’s starting XI last season.
Van Hooijdonk says Manchester United have been shopping the Dutch international around since January.
“As early as January of this year, I received information from Turkey about Robin and Fenerbahce. The minute this information came, you knew that United had sent people to test the water for a move,” he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“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 continued: “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.
“A big club in England, Spain or Germany is a more attractive option. Until the player realises that behind his back the two clubs have done a big deal.
“That is the moment the pressure is put on. You are almost forced to go to the club where your employer has struck a deal. This is what I mean with games being played right now.”
Van Persie scored 10 goals in 25 Premier League appearances last term and comes out of contract at the end of next season.
It is believed United will look to sell the striker to get a transfer fee before he can leave the club as a free agent in 2016.