Manchester United striker Robin van Persie gave an "exclusive" interview to the club's matchday programme last night, with quotes first released on the club's official website, in a bid to make it clear beyond question that his long-term future lies at Old Trafford.
Van Persie has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks, missing key chances in big matches in a stance which has led to the unthinkable, open media speculation that the Dutch marksman is openly courting a return to Arsenal, the club he snubbed in favour of a move to Old Trafford in 2012.
In some ways United fans will be reassured by Van Persie's words, talking about staying in Manchester for the rest of his career and harbouring a good working relationship with manager David Moyes.
The timing of the interview feels strange though, a situation not helped by United's frankly bizarre need to brand an interview with their own player as an "exclusive" on the eve of a crucial Premier League clash with Liverpool.
A club with the stature of United are well versed in the never-ending deluge of media speculation surrounding their star players, which makes the decision for Van Persie to directly address rumours of a summer exit all the more startling.
If there was nothing to stories that top clubs across Europe are monitoring Van Persie's progress closely, why did both player and club feel the need to address the issue more than two months before the close of the campaign?
Van Persie will be 31 by the time next season rolls round, will the Premier League's top scorer really be content with aiding the fight for a top-four finish again next season rather than a title push, particularly after tasting success for the first time last year?
In reality United fans should take this latest batch of comments with a pinch of salt, even more so when you consider Van Persie's most recent altercation with the media was to bemoan tactics and team-mates operating in the spaces he likes to lurk in with such success.
Rather than attempting to clarify his future before the transfer window even opens Van Persie should do his talking on the pitch, starting this Sunday against Liverpool.
In fairness to United's leading predator the goals have flowed when fit again this season, with 14 in 23 matches across all competitions, but glaring misses from point-blank range against both Arsenal and Olympiakos are mistakes that definitely linger for Red Devils fans this season.
Moyes has publicly declared that he expects the forward to be offered a new contract at some stage, but from a business point of view if Juventus, Arsenal or another party come along with a sizeable bid this summer can United really afford not to put that money towards securing long-term targets in other positions?
Only time will tell, but Van Persie's "exclusive" interview is primarily a hollow offering that should have no bearing on the club's transfer policy or public criticism of the striker's performances in recent weeks.
What do you think United fans, will Van Persie stick around for next season and beyond? Or should the decision be taken out his hands as United bid to rebuild for the future? Have your say below!
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