To suggest Robin van Persie’s career has suffered a Fernando Torres-esque nosedive over the past three years might be a little harsh, but it’s not a million miles away from the truth.
The Dutch striker was unstoppable during the 2012-13 campaign, his first season at Manchester United, scoring 30 goals in 48 appearances for the Red Devils.
Van Persie almost single-handedly won United their 20th league title, but after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement he was never the same.
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The former Arsenal captain struggled under David Moyes - injuries certainly didn’t help - but couldn’t have cut a more delighted figure when United appointed his compatriot Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2014.
Rather than recapture his old form, however, Van Persie continued to regress at an alarming rate - and in the summer of 2015 he was sold to Fenerbahce for under £4 million.
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Van Persie has offered himself to Barcelona
Van Persie has performed reasonably well in the Turkish league, scoring 16 goals in 31 matches, but wants to leave the country because of political problems and insecurity.
This is according to Catalan newspaper Sport, who have revealed the surprise news this evening that Van Persie has offered his services to Barcelona.
The Netherlands international, who turns 33 next month, has told Barca that he’s prepared to join them as the club’s fourth striker behind the ‘MSN’ - Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Van Persie is currently in negotiations with Stoke City and West Ham, but his wage demands could prove an issue for the two English clubs.
Aware of this, Van Persie has offered Barcelona the chance to secure his services, with Fenerbahce prepared to sell for a fee in the region of €10 million.
Barcelona are unlikely to say yes
Barca rejected the chance to sign the left-footed striker in January and there’s nothing to suggest Luis Enrique will give a different answer this time around.
Three years ago it might have been a different story, but it’s hard to imagine Barcelona deciding Van Persie would be a good option for them, even though they require another forward - one prepared to spend time on the substitutes’ bench - to ease the burden on their mercurial front three.
Should Barcelona take a chance on Robin van Persie? Have your say by leaving a comment below.