Robin van Persie was left bemused after being dropped from Manchester United's 18-man squad for their game against Crystal Palace on Saturday despite the fact he was fit to play, it has been claimed.
The Red Devils claimed a 2-1 win that all but sealed Champions League qualification for next season but Van Persie was nowhere to be seen. Wayne Rooney started up front on his own but was replaced at half-time by goal shy Radamel Falcao after being forced from the pitch with an injury, while youngster James Wilson was an unused substitute.
According to the Daily Mail, Van Persie travelled to London with the rest of the Manchester United squad but wasn't included because he had missed a day training through illness.
Article continues below
Before the win at Selhurst Park, Van Gaal spoke about Van Persie's fitness having picked up the virus, but didn't make it clear either way whether he intended to play him against the Eagles.
"The manager has been a little bit touched [by the virus], but also van Persie has been touched by it," the boss confirmed. "Wilson [had it] last week as well.
Article continues below
"But a lot of players have had problems, and also members of staff. It is not easy to make a line-up, but it is always the same in football. As a manager, you have to pick your line-up. You see and observe the training sessions, and then you decide."
The paper adds that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has a policy of only selecting players who have trained for the entire week, despite suffering the same virus as Van Persie.
The Dutch striker was left bemused by Van Gaal's decision according to Mail, and the move threatens to cast even more doubt over his future. The former Arsenal striker has managed just 10 Premier League goals this term thanks to form as well as fitness - his lowest tally since the 2009/10 season - with just two games to go.
He's been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the summer, with Italy or Turkey suggested as possible destinations. However its been claimed that Van Persie has informed Van Gaal that he is willing to stay put next season and challenge for a first team spot.
Manchester United are likely to overhaul their squad in the summer and it could be all change up front, with Radamel Falcao almost certain to return to Monaco when his loan spell ends.
Van Perise has endured a difficult campaign to date, and the snub at Crystal Palace is just the icing on the cake. If he does stay at Old Trafford he will certainly have to accept a reduced role, especially given the fact that Van Gaal will likely bring in a big-money name to replace Falcao.
If the rumours that Juventus are interested in his services, as they were when he left Arsenal, then he may be better off upping sticks and leaving while he still has the chance to be a top goalscorer
Ronaldo, Cavani, Rooney? Who should be in Manchester United's DREAM striker unit next season?
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms