Pierre van Hooijdonk believes Manchester United are trying to force Robin van Persie out of the club this summer.

  • By Michael Bell
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Southampton v Manchester United - Barclays Premier LeagueThe 31-year-old striker is out of contract at Old Trafford next summer and has been heavily linked with an exit, with Lazio, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Juventus and most recently Besiktas all linked to the Netherlands captain.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, former Netherlands international Pierre van Hooijdonk has claimed Manchester United have been attempting to offload Van Persie since last January.

Van Hooijdonk said, “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,”

“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.”

“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.”

The former Fenerbahce striker then talked up a move to Turkey, “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,”

“There is a lot at stake right now for Robin. He could be heading for his last Euro tournament in France next summer. So he needs to play a lot in the 10 months before the Euros.

“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.”

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