Louis van Gaal has told Robin van Persie he must start to train harder if he is to stay at Manchester United beyond the summer, reports The Mail.
The striker found himself on the periphery of Van Gaal's plans last season after concerns over form and fitness left him stranded on the bench.
He finished the campaign with just ten goals to his name and his relationship with Van Gaal, once thought to be so strong within the Netherland's national team set-up, appears strained.
Now 31 and with just 12 months on his £250,000-a-week contract, Van Persie has been strongly linked with an exit from Old Trafford but Van Gaal is ready to keep him at the club if he can prove he is capable of adapting to his rigorous training regime.
It was those same arduous sessions that saw Radamel Falcao fail to succeed as a Manchester United player and may well have led to a recurrence of those injury struggles that plagued so much of his Arsenal career.
But Van Gaal is not ready to accept passengers and has told Van Persie that he will not play a significant role in the team unless he proves he is able to cope with the same training regime as everyone else.
The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager is widely considered to be one of the harshest taskmasters in world football and remains a firm believer in ultimate fitness.
He wants all of his players to be able to meet his rigorous demands and does not see Van Persie as an exception to that rule.
A tricky situation
But Van Gaal is unlikely to force Van Persie out of the club and knows any deal that will see him leave may end up costing Manchester United more than they receive in transfer fees.
His massive wages are unobtainable for most clubs and Van Persie may demand a sizeable payoff to leave Old Trafford.