Under pressure Manchester United boss David Moyes has been forced to deny claims over Robin Van Persie’s future at Old Trafford following yesterday’s shock home loss to Newcastle United.

  • By David Lee Wheatley
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rvpThe Dutch striker returned to the line-up following an injury which kept him out of United’s last four games, but couldn’t help prevent another disappointing defeat at the hands of a supposedly lesser rival.

To compound the misery, long-time BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson was quoted on Irish radio suggesting the former Arsenal star wants out of the club only a year-and-a-half after exiting the Emirates in acrimonious circumstances.

Lawrenson knows Moyes personally from the Scotman’s stints as both a player and manager at Preston North End, so his comments certainly hold some weight. It’s yet another nuisance for Moyes to deal with, as he attempts to stem the tide of criticism hurtling his way this season following his succession of Sir Alex Ferguson at the United helm.

The new man caused a temporary rift with Wayne Rooney very early in his reign when publicly placing Van Persie as his number one forward, going as far as to suggest Rooney was no more than back-up to the Netherlands international. That furore eventually settled down and Rooney has largely been a regular starter since, but this latest development will come as another kick in the teeth to the beleaguered 50-year-old.

Van Persie remains an integral part of the team and it’d be a devastating blow to the Red Devils’ chances of silverware should a transfer request wing its way to Moyes at this stage of the campaign.

United can ill-afford any further disharmony in the dressing room with the Premier League trophy slipping rapidly through their grasp. Currently in ninth spot and 13 points adrift of leaders Arsenal, their current status does not leave any room for manoeuvre and Moyes will require every single one of his players to be firmly on the same page as him from here on in.