Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has responded to speculation he's on the verge of signing for Serie 'A' outfit Lazio after revealing the real reason he visited Rome, having been snapped at the airport about to catch a flight to Italy over the weekend.
The Sun carries quotes from the 31-year-old which suggest his recent trip had nothing to do with prospective transfer negotiations, and that he was spotted in the capital merely as a tourist.
Van Persie's long-term future at Old Trafford has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks following an injury-ravaged 2014/15 campaign that meant he was limited to just 29 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils last term, during which time he contributed an underwhelming ten goals.
The appointment of fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal - who the former Arsenal marksman worked with in the Netherlands national team fold at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - was expected to have a positive impact on his standing at the club, but it's looked increasingly likely that Van Persie's future could lie away from the Theatre of Dreams.
Rumours of Lazio's alleged interest gathered pace when the two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner was pictured boarding a flight to the Italian capital, but Van Persie has played down accusations he's about to pen a deal at Stadio Olimpico.
"All the rumours about Rome as a city are true — it is a beautiful place," he explained. "I have a life away from football and I always wanted to visit Rome with my wife and this was our chance. We enjoyed it very much."
Manchester United fans are divided when it comes to their views regarding Van Persie. Some think the veteran talisman is past his best and the club would be better off cashing-in on his services, while others think he still has an important role to play for Van Gaal's side next term.
Either way, it's likely that the club will pursue a new striker during the summer transfer window following Radamel Falcao's unsuccessful season-long loan stint in England.
The Colombian netted just four Premier League goals in 26 games - most as sub - so unsurprisingly the club opted against taking up the option to make the AS Monaco man's move permanent.
Red Devils fans: Do you think Robin van Persie will still be at Old Trafford next season? If not, which club do you see him playing for? Leave a prediction in the comment box below…