Update from Friday, March 14
David Moyes has confirmed Manchester United will look into extending Robin van Persie's contract, following the Dutchman's verbal commitment to the club.
Kevin Palmer of the Sunday World reported from Moyes' press conference on Friday:
If it were up to Robin van Persie, he wouldn't be leaving Old Trafford for a very long time.
The Manchester United star forward has been at the center of criticism and speculation about his future following an inconsistent, injury-riddled season that has the Red Devils outside the critical top four spots in the English Premier League, but he made sure his feelings toward the club were clear, via the squad's official Twitter feed:
.@Persie_Official says: “I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer. I’m happy with my team-mates and my manager.”— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 13, 2014
“Like I said, talk about my performances or talk about a tackle that was too late," he told United Review, via ManUtd.com. "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."
In 17 EPL appearances this season, the Dutchman has scored 11 goals and assisted on three others. And according to WhoScored.com, that production has increased over the last several contests:
Robin van Persie: Has directly contributed to 6 of Manchester United's last 9 PL goals (5 goals, 1 assist) #MUFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 8, 2014
Still, van Persie hasn't been 100 percent fit for much of the season, and as the Red Devils have continued to struggle under first-year manager David Moyes—sixth in the Premier League and facing a 2-0 Champions League deficit to Olympiakos heading into next Wednesday's second leg—the 30-year-old has seen much of the criticism as he hasn't been as efficient as he was during the 2012-13 campaign.
When will Robin van Persie leave Manchester United?
When he gets opportunities, RVP remains one of the most dangerous, clinical finishers in the world. But he hasn't always been thrilled with Moyes' tactics, most recently criticizing teammates for "sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in" after the loss to Olympiakos.
Add it all up, and rumors about his eventual departure from Manchester United (h/t Alan Hansen of The Telegraph), which really can be traced back to the beginning of the year, began to swirl once again.
Nevertheless, this should put an end to all of that, at least for a while.
United have struggled this season, yes, but van Persie has officially made it clear he isn't nearly as fed up with his manager or teammates as has been reported.
With those distractions out of the way, and potentially a clean bill of health, perhaps he can get back to the form that helped the Red Devils win the league title last year.