Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Robin Van Persie Tipped for Arsenal Return

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2014

Manchester United's Robin van Persie, left, fights for the ball against Arsenal's Mikel Arteta during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Robin van Persie's unsettled relationship with David Moyes could force the Manchester United striker back to Arsenal, according to reports.

Rob Shepherd of the Daily Mail details why the Dutch striker could soon leave Old Trafford:

It is understood that while Moyes seems to have made (Wayne) Rooney feel more comfortable at the club, there is an uneasy relationship between the new United boss and Van Persie.

I understand that Van Persie, whose goals fired United to the title last season, has been upset by the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and his fellow Dutchman, coach Rene Meulensteen, who did much to persuade the striker to leave Arsenal to join United for £24million in the summer of 2012.

Shepherd also suggests Van Persie and his family "have not settled as well amongst the 'Cheshire set' as opposed to where they had previously resided in the London area."

Jon Super/Associated Press

Suggestions of unhappiness have followed the forward this season. Back in October, according to Wayne Veysey of, he was said to be unhappy with Moyes' training methods—which place greater emphasis on running and endurance.

Van Persie has recently returned from injury with two goals in two games, but United's fortunes haven't improved. He appeared sluggish during the Feb. 1 defeat to Stoke, despite netting a tasty finish from a smart Juan Mata pass.

Shepherd's report suggests Van Persie's future could depend on whether or not Wayne Rooney inks a new contract—but perhaps not in the way United fans would think. Should the Englishman commit his future to the club, Shepherd believes Van Persie "could be on his way and it is understood he would love to re-join the Gunners."

Jon Super/Associated Press

Considering the mixed start Moyes has suffered as United boss, it would be an extremely brave move to sell Van Persie back to his former club. While the one-time Emirates favourite will nearly be 31 when the season finishes, it is unlikely supporters from either team would welcome such a move.

An aging, injury prone Van Persie is frustrating enough, but his move from Arsenal to United certainly harmed his reputation amongst the North London club's fans—analysis galvanised by the player's overzealous reaction after scoring against Arsenal earlier in the campaign.

Reaction to the recent rumour on Twitter seems to support that nation:

It seems Arsenal have moved on since Van Persie. His reappearance would certainly add much-needed firepower up front, but he would only ever be a short-term fix to the Premier League leaders' lack of strength-in-depth.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Arsene Wenger can find younger, fitter talent with a thorough search in the summer transfer window. His recently turned down bid for Lille's Salomon Kalou, reported by James Orr of The Independent, is the type of transfer that could offer Wenger greater output across a longer length of time.

With Arsenal currently sitting 15 points ahead of the Red Devils, one has to question why they would need to revisit the past.