Robin van Persie is wanted by Chelsea, it has been claimed, and the west London club are the frontrunners to clinch the signature of the Manchester United striker during the summer transfer window.

Van Persie’s future has been the subject of frequent speculation over the past few weeks, and The Mirror report that Italian sources suggest the Netherlands international is a wanted in west London with his position in Manchester uncertain.

Chelsea are expected to be in the market for a proven goalscorer given the reservations over the suitability of Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres, and Van Persie would represent a significantly cheaper alternative to reported targets Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly leading the pursuit of Van Persie, with the player also wanted by two other unnamed clubs.

Van Persie was critical of his Manchester United teammates following the lacklustre defeat to Olympiacos in the last 16 of the Champions League, and there have been suggestions since that David Moyes has grown tired of the 30-year-old’s attitude.

Meanwhile, former Netherlands player Ronald de Boer believes Van Persie will request a move away from Old Trafford if Manchester United are unable to secure any signings of repute before next season.

“Man United need to refresh their squad,” De Boer told talkSPORT. “Some of their players have had fantastic careers but it’s time to move over and let some youngsters come through.

“Robin feels that, if this is happening, he will of course stay. But, if there’s no investment in new, young, great players from other clubs, then he will move.”

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