Robin van Persie’s departure from Manchester United in the summer was rather curious.
Little was said by the club when the Dutchman left Old Trafford for Fenerbahce in July - other than a short statement on their official website - which was most peculiar when you consider he won the Red Devils’ 20th league title almost single-handedly during the 2012-13 campaign.
It seemed that Van Persie’s relationship with Louis van Gaal was the main reason behind his exit - not to mention his below-par performances during his final season at Old Trafford - and the Guardian have now claimed United’s Dutch coach lost faith in the man he considered a close friend before he was appointed head coach of the Premier League giants in the summer of 2014.
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The report states that Van Gaal sold Van Persie because he believed the striker “was not conducive to the team spirit” that was in the process of being fostered at Old Trafford.
The journalist who wrote the story, Jamie Jackson, adds that the Netherlands international was not always the best influence around the squad - and this was another reason why Van Gaal was keen to move him on in the summer.
Van Persie was not the same after Ferguson left
No doubt this will surprise many Manchester United fans who regarded Van Persie as a model professional during his first season at Old Trafford when he was working under Sir Alex Ferguson.
By his own admission, Ferguson’s retirement hit Van Persie hard. He was never the same player after the summer of 2013 when David Moyes was appointed as Fergie’s successor ahead of the 2013-14 campaign.
Van Persie could not contain his excitement when Van Gaal replaced Moyes a year later - the two had a very close bond - but it took less than 12 months for things to turn sour and the Dutch striker was left with no choice but to pack his bags and leave Manchester.
Manchester United fans: is this yet more evidence that Louis van Gaal alienates his players? Should Robin van Persie have stayed? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!