- Premier League
I'm happy at United and want to stay, says Van Persie
Robin van Persie has insisted he wants to stay at Manchester United and hopes to spend several more years at Old Trafford.
Van Persie's future has been the subject of speculation and he has been linked with Juventus, but the former Arsenal captain has again denied he has a poor relationship with manager David Moyes.
The striker's current contract, which he signed when he joined the club in 2012, expires in 2016 but he suggested he would be keen to remain with the Premier League champions beyond then.
Will the real Van Persie please stand up?
- RVP's claims are the latest in a long line of mixed messages from the Dutch striker.
- "We are lousy," he said after United's Champions League first-leg defeat to Olympiakos. "We are in a lousy position in the league, out of the cups and this looks a difficult one also. We are very disappointed. It's a tough season."
- In the same interview, he added: "You didn't recognise us? Maybe it's because you didn't see us play in quite a while."
- He then had some words aimed more directly at his team-mates: "Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in," he told Dutch television channel NOS. "And when I see that it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well.
- "That forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. Unfortunately, they're often playing in my zones. I think that's a shame."
- But he quickly changed his tune and turned his attention to new United manager David Moyes: "He's working hard at it, and so are we," he added. "Sometimes we play well, but not all the time.
- "We don't have luck on our side. It's easy to point the finger at someone, but I'm not like that. We have to do better ourselves."
Suggestions Van Persie was unsettled increased after he seemed unhappy when Moyes substituted him in Saturday's 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. But Moyes said it was because his top scorer had already been booked and claimed he had never intended to play him for 90 minutes.
"I don't mind if my performances get dissected and people criticise what I've done on the pitch," Van Persie said. "They can talk about my game 24/7 for all I care… and a lot of those opinions and criticisms may actually be right. So I don't mind that.
"What I need to address are the situations when people are taking it upon themselves to think for me, make assumptions, or interpret things as if they are me. Last time I checked my head was still attached to my body, so I'm the only one who knows exactly what I'm feeling and that is not what I or the fans have been reading."
Ronald de Boer had said he was not enjoying playing for United and could leave. But Van Persie, who has scored 44 goals in 71 games for United, has consistently maintained in public that there has been no fall-out between him and Moyes.
"I'm very happy with my team-mates and I'm very happy with my manager and his staff. The sessions we have on the training ground are fantastic and I'm learning a lot from them every day," Van Persie said. "I've been a professional footballer for 12 years now and there's no doubt I'm learning new things and progressing with David Moyes.
"Like I said, talk about my performances or talk about a tackle that was too late. I don't mind. But it goes too far when people start suggesting, amongst other things, that I have a bad understanding with the manager. That's not true at all.
"Over the last few years I've started to look more closely at the way coaches work to learn from them - not just here at the club but with the international team as well. I've worked with some brilliant coaches and I've taken a real interest in all the methods they use and the choices they make.
"I can tell you that Moyes' sessions and the things he says in his team meetings are spot-on. I really enjoy working under him and I'm absolutely convinced things will pick up and we'll turn it around.
"There is mutual respect between us and the work environment is actually good. He really wants things to work here at Manchester United and I want the same, just like the other players. We're all working hard to make this work."