Manchester United Transfer News: Club Must Keep Robin Van Persie Amid Tough Year

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 10, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  A dejected Robin van Persie of Manchester United walks off the pitch following his team's 1-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on December 7, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  David Moyes the manager of Manchester United talks with Robin Van Persie prior to a training session at Aon Training Complex on October 22, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Speculation that superstar striker Robin van Persie is unhappy at Old Trafford playing for defending English Premier League trophy winners Manchester United has been consistent this year.

So has the denial of that assertion, but if United don't win more matches in the EPL, perhaps their biggest threat on the attack may give in to the perception and seek a transfer.

Although it's been a month since the Red Devils have won a league fixture, they must keep Van Persie—no matter how lucrative a prospective transfer fee might be.

Manager David Moyes once again dismissed rumours Monday that Van Persie is discontent in his United digs, per a report by Jack de Menezes of The Independent.

"That is absolute nonsense. I don't know what harder or tougher word I could say but that's as good as I've got," said Moyes.

Van Persie insisted himself back in August that he was happy working with Moyes and liked his style. The word Moyes used on Monday was the one he used back in October when he implied that injuries were the source of any frustration Van Persie was experiencing, per The Telegraph's Mark Ogden.

But Clive Burrows, also reporting for The Independent, indicated on Tuesday that La Liga giant Barcelona is scheming a £37 million offer to land Van Persie, citing a report from Tutto Mercato.

Joining the likes of Lionel Messi and newly acquired prodigy Neymar could be a tantalizing option for Van Persie—regardless of his true feelings about Old Trafford.

The Daily Mirror's Ben Burrows cited former Liverpool defender and current football pundit Mark Lawrenson in his report on Dec. 7 when he noted Van Persie "may have handed in his transfer request" last Tuesday.

While those are all red flags, the good news is that the Red Devils won Tuesday's Champions League group-stage match against Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0, snapping a 280-minute goalless streak, per

Phil Jones' winner in the 67th minute was also set up by Van Persie's corner, which shows that he's still playing hard amid what was a horrendous scoring slump for the entire club and a trying test of adversity.

What had been a rather discombobulated, frustrating attack was far more crisp on Tuesday in its execution and passing, per Squawka Football:

And that was with Van Persie coming off the bench as a substitute, as documented by the club's official Twitter account:

After sustained success under Sir Alex Ferguson, there is no question United are enduring consistency problems under the fresh guidance of Moyes, but it's vital that the organisation sells Van Persie on its long-term vision.

The 30-year-old has scored seven goals this season and forms a formidable tandem with fellow veteran Wayne Rooney, but Van Persie's last goal in the EPL came in ninth-place United's last victory. That was all the way back on Nov. 10, in a 1-0 triumph over current table leader Arsenal.

Van Persie has had an outstanding career and has maintained his health along the way. For United to get back on track, it would be wise for Moyes and those affiliated with the club to get Van Persie back to 100 percent and appease him in any way possible.

Dutch fitness specialist Raymond Verheijen called Moyes a "dinosaur" (via the Daily Mail) for his rigorous training methods, which have hampered Van Persie to an extent this season. A nagging groin injury has been part of the problem, and that won't help keep him around, nor will a lack of results on the pitch.

Moyes still has plenty of time to turn things around in 2013-14, but he must show that his philosophy is built for sustainable success—and fosters better productivity for Van Persie—if he doesn't want Van Persie to flee for potentially greener pastures.