Robin Van Persie's Son Reportedly Training with Manchester City, Not United

Jason PettigroveContributor IMarch 17, 2014

The news that Robin van Persie has allowed his son to train with Manchester City won't have gone down well at Old Trafford.
The news that Robin van Persie has allowed his son to train with Manchester City won't have gone down well at Old Trafford.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In a move that likely won't sit well with Manchester United, striker Robin van Persie is allowing his son to train at the academy of their cross-town rivals.

Seven-year-old Shaqueel van Persie has donned the sky blue of Manchester City and not the red of his father's employers, according to Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  Robin Van Persie of Arsenal sits with his son Shaqueel and team mate Thomas Vermaelen watch the game during the NextGen Series Final between Ajax U19 and Inter Milan U19 at Matchroom Stadium on March 25, 2012 in London, Englan
Julian Finney/Getty Images

It's not entirely clear why the Dutchman has acceded to the move. A club source at Old Trafford told the local paper, "There's quite a bit of surprise about it. You would have thought that if they were going to be with anyone it would have been United."

Relations between Van Persie and the club have appeared strained in recent weeks, and Jamie Jackson of The Guardian highlighted some of the veiled criticism he has levelled at some of his teammates.

Van Persie's own form has suffered too, as noted by Squawka:

Top scorer in the Premier League during the last campaign, his contributions have been well below par this term, and he continues to be far from the player of 12 months ago.

Indeed, his performance against Liverpool on Sunday was so bad that, aside from Nemanja Vidic, he was the worst performing player on the pitch, per WhoScored.com.

The Daily Mail also highlighted his inactivity, compared to that of Liverpool's Luis Suarez:

The news that he has allowed his son to train at the City academy, rather than United's, will surely drive a bigger wedge into a relationship that has appeared in jeopardy for a while. Whilst there is no suggestion that Van Persie himself will follow suit, such actions are hardly likely to curry favour in the Old Trafford corridors of power.

In a separate twist, ex-United star Phil Neville, now one of David Moyes' first team assistants, has also allowed his 11-year-old son Harvey to represent the blue half of Manchester at youth level.