Lazio sporting director Igil Tare has denied Robin van Persie was in Italy to sign for the Serie A club, while also ruling out a move for the Dutch forward altogether because he would cost too much money.
There has been plenty of speculation over the future of Van Persie in recent weeks after the striker admitted he was considering his options. The 31-year-old is out of contract at Old Trafford next year and is yet to be offered new terms, with Juventus said to be in the running for his signature.
The rumour mill went into overdrive when Van Persie was spotted landing at Rome airport amidst speculation that he was close to sealing a £10 million switch to Lazio.
Tare says that couldn't be further from the truth - despite the club's qualification for the Champions League this season, the Manchester United man remains well out of reach.
He told Lazio Style Radio: "I can only say that I respect Van Persie as a striker, but unfortunately he is outside of our parameters. There was never any meeting."
There was some better news for Lazio fans regarding striker Miroslav Klose, who will remain with the club for next season. "Klose has decided to continue his adventure with Lazio," Tare said. "It's a sign of his great attachment to the club and to the fans."
Reports over the weekend suggested that it is Juventus who are leading the race for for his signature and the Champions League finalists are willing to offer £5 million for the former Arsenal man.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is already in the market for one striker with Radamel Falcao back at Monaco after his loan spell at Old Trafford came to an end. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been suggested as the most likely target because of the Spanish club's interest in David de Gea, however Benzema's agent insists his client won't be switching teams this summer.
“I haven't met with any club in London," Karim Djaziri told Marca. "Not with United and not with anyone else. We haven't held talks with anyone other than Real Madrid.
“What is Karim going to do in Manchester? He's happy in Madrid. He doesn't want to leave. Benzema would only leave if Real Madrid told him he was surplus to requirements, because he isn't going to leave of his own accord."
There has been plenty of speculation about Van Persie, however from a football perspective he would be best of staying put. As the number two striker at Old Trafford he would get plenty of games and be in with a shot of winning some medals next season.
But he must think selfishly at this time in his career and try and find a club willing to give him a longer deal in what is likely to be the final contract he signs. Manchester United won't offer him longer than 18 months if at all, so he faces an uncertain future.
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