Manchester United have decided to sell Robin van Persie at the end of the season and are already making plans for life without the experienced striker, with Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller and Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani among those targeted as a possible replacement.
Van Persie has been some way short his very best so far this season, scoring just three times in 10 Premier League games. United haven't made their minds up on the 31-year-old purely based on his playing form though, with the Red Devils conscious that if Van Persie sees out the full four years of his current contract he'll net a £10 million loyalty bonus.
That sizeable sum has helped United come to the conclusion they must start preparing for Van Persie's departure next summer, news which has been reported by the Evening Standard on the eve of his return to former club Arsenal.
Van Gaal relationship won't save Dutch captain
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal shares a fantastic working relationship with Van Persie, with the technically-gifted forward's displays at the World Cup finals for Holland typifying what's brilliant about both at their best.
United fans had hoped Van Gaal's arrival at Old Trafford would end Van Persie put the injury woe's of last season behind him, but in all honesty he's looked short of his usual sharpness so far this term.
Ruthless Van Gaal strikes again
Van Gaal has proved throughout a distinguished managerial career at the very highest level that he's a ruthless operator, which means Van Persie and his whopping £250,000-a-week contract are effectively on borrowed time at the Theatre of Dreams.
With that in mind United are already hunting for his successor and have two names at the top of a very small shortlist of players they believe can do the business for United as part of a long-term plan for success.
Cavani or Muller as RVP's replacement?
Cavani is the most prominent name being tracked by United and the Uruguayan marksman is no stranger to Premier League transfer links, primarily because when both are fit and firing he plays second fiddle at PSG to their undoubted talisman Zlatan Ibrahmovic.
United would have to pay at least a £50 million premium to make Cavani their new star striker, but have proved since Van Gaal took charge that they're not afraid to spend big in search of a return to success.
Muller meanwhile represents more of a left-field choice but has a tremendous pedigree for both club and country, bringing the kind of big-game experience that United could definitely utilise and an understanding with Van Gaal that could make the transfer viable.