Manchester United manager David Moyes has backed Robin van Persie to help fire the club to success this season.
Speaking at a press conference recently, the Scot told of his pleasure that van Persie remains committed to the club's cause, and he hoped that a deal can be thrashed out to keep him at the club for the long-term.
I’ve been telling you that [he’s staying] but you’ve wanted to say or write something different. It’s difficult if you don’t believe what I say. Robin is happy here and I’m pleased about that. I didn’t know what was coming out – I’ve only just heard this morning about it.
We’ll take it as it is. He has a couple of years to go on his contract and I’m sure that will be something the board look at.
I’ve always said we’ve got two outstanding forwards in Wayne and Robin. Both have capabilities of winning games off their own back. They’re both pivotal international players and the sort of players any side in the world would want in their team.
I’m delighted to have both of them and, more importantly, that they both want to be Manchester United players.
According to the Mirror's Steve Bates, van Persie still has two years left on his current deal and admitted that although he has yet to speak to club chiefs about a new contract, he is perfectly happy with the striker's contributions to the team.
The 30-year-old pledged his future to the club after speculation of a rift with Moyes, but the forward made it clear that he was happy with life at Old Trafford, speaking with club programme United Review, according to the club's official website:
I don’t mind if my performances get dissected and people criticise what I’ve done on the pitch. 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.
The striker continued, citing that he was eager to stay at the club beyond his current contract and admitted his happiness to be playing for the champions:
The truth is I’m very happy here at this club. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract. This is how I feel, although it’s not what has been suggested in the media.
The Scot has backed van Persie, along with Wayne Rooney, to build on their excellent showing during the Red Devils' 3-0 win at West Brom, despite the Dutchman being substituted after an hour.
Ahead of the match at the Hawthorns, OptaJoe tweeted of van Persie's importance to the Red Devils' cause this season as the club prepare for crunch matches against Liverpool in the league, and Olympiakos in Europe:
14 - Robin van Persie has scored (11) or assisted (3) 14 goals in 16 Premier League starts this season. Classy.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 8, 2014
Speaking at a press conference, Moyes praised both players' work rate and insisted that their efforts can be infectious to the rest of his squad, according to the Mirror's Steve Bates:
We have shown signs of improvement and of getting better and at West Brom, Wayne and Robin were outstanding. The biggest thing was Robin showing how hard he worked. Wayne was the same. When your two main players are showing that, it rubs off on the rest.
Van Perise's committal to United will come as a welcome boost to Moyes, who will be looking to build the club's long-term success in the summer.
With Patrice Evra rumoured to be heading for the Old Trafford exit alongside Nemanja Vidic, per Mirror's Liam Prenderville, Moyes will be looking to tie down as many experienced heads as he can ahead of next season's title race.
Still chasing Champions League glory, the club also sit 11 points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and face an outside chance of qualification for the competition next year.
However, it may be best for United's long-term future to focus on consolidating this season's experiences and build, quietly and collectively in the summer, to establish success for next season.
With that, the club can play with limited pressure and build into the Red Devils' new era while flying under the radar, which could see the side moulded in Moyes' image while outside of the title race spotlight.