David Moyes' faith in Robin van Persie is wavering according to recent reports, which claim the striker's long-term future at Manchester United is under threat.
Sportsmail understands the United manager has recently expressed private frustrations about Van Persie and is beginning to wonder if last season’s top scorer can be relied upon in the long term.
Van Persie’s goal record this season is good but his partnership with Wayne Rooney reached a new low when the duo hardly passed to each other in the Champions League defeat at Olympiacos.
Van Persie's form this season has been severely hampered by injury, restricting him to just one Premier League appearance during a two-and-a-half-month stretch over the winter period.
His record of 11 league goals in 15 starts, per Transfermarkt, remains a prolific one, but the 2013-14 campaign has been of stark contrast to the victorious Premier League hunt experienced under Sir Alex Ferguson last term.
Following that 2-0 Champions League defeat in Greece, van Persie criticised the performance of his teammates, per Eurosport, saying:
Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in.
And when I see that, it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And, unfortunately, they are often playing in my zones. I think that's a shame.
United currently sit seventh in the English top flight, 18 points off leaders Chelsea and with just 11 games remaining in which to stage any sort of unlikely turnaround of their title defence.
Talk of a summer departure has risen in recent weeks, with the Metro claiming in mid-February that van Persie's agent had met with Arsene Wenger regarding a return to his former Arsenal stomping ground.
It's another remarkable twist that this season has unearthed at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman not so long ago looked upon as one of those in the United squad warranting a "not for sale" tag.
However, this season has taught the club a lot about change and how quickly the tide can take a turn for the unexpected, van Persie's availability seemingly not invincible to the same threat.
The Independent's Ian Herbert says the club will be stubborn should any suitors attempt to come in for their goalscorer, however:
Ladyman does go on to outline the club's stance on their player, but adds that Moyes' decision will be the final one:
United sources underlined just last week that Van Persie would not be sold this summer, even if he asked to leave.
However it will be up to Moyes to decide whether he remains the type of player to build a team around.
Going from Golden Boot winner to a struggle for a top-four finish would be a difficult pill for any superstar to swallow, and it's no surprise to hear there are some in the United squad perhaps affected by the transition.
Just two years after arriving, van Persie's tenure at the Theatre of Dreams could come to an end this summer, should the 30-year-old be unable to convince his manager that his heart is still in for a Manchester United fight.