Former Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt has been asked by Fenerbahce to try and convince Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to swap the Premier League for Turkey.
Turkish publication Hurriyet, reports the Daily Star, claim that the Super Lig champions have their eye on January signings and the top of their list is the Netherlands international at Old Trafford.
Van Persie is good friends with Kuyt and the report claims that Fenerbahce have asked their player to talk up the proposition of a move to Turkey with his international teammate, though Manchester United are unlikely to be happy about it.
The former Arsenal captain is a favourite of new Old Trafford manager Louis van Gaal and the prospects of accepting an offer for him appear slim – Van Persie was Van Gaal’s captain for Holland at the World Cup and is one of the first names on his team sheet.
Place still secure
Even the arrival of Radamel Falcao on transfer deadline day is not expected to affect Van Persie’s place in the team greatly, with most people addressing the issue of centre-forwards at the Red Devils suggesting Wayne Rooney should be the one left out for the Colombian superstar.
However, Van Persie is now 31 years old and after three or four sensational years of goalscoring, last season saw the return of persistent injury problems that had dogged him early in his career with Arsenal.
It is not ridiculous to suggest that he may not be at Manchester United for too many years longer, but a move to Turkish football would be difficult to fathom at this point.
Another reason making it unlikely is the fact that Fenerbahce are currently banned from European competition by UEFA, which meant they did not get to compete in the Champions League this year after wining the Super Lig title last year.
A two-year ban was handed to them after they were found guilty of trying to fix matches in the Spuer Lig in 2011. This will be the third season they have missed European football, as the Turkish Football Federation withdrew them from the 2011-12 Champions League while the match-fixing claims were being investigated.
Fight for survival
Van Persie now has a fight on his hands to stay in the Manchester United starting XI after the Falcao signing, but Van Gaal’s tactical intentions may prove to be a saviour for him.
The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager has deployed a variation of a 3-5-2 formation, leaving his three senior centre-forwards – Van Persie, Falcao and Rooney – to fight it out for the two attacking spots.