Manchester United are attempting to sell Robin van Persie without the striker’s knowledge, according to former Netherlands international Pierre van Hooijdonk.
Van Persie has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, having struggled to nail down a place in Louis van Gaal’s starting XI in 2014-15.
The 31-year-old hinted at a move in June, insisting that he needs regular first-team football, and Van Hooijdonk claims that United started looking for potential buyers in January.
“As early as January of this year, I received information from Turkey about Robin and Fenerbahce. The minute this information came, you knew that United had sent people to test the water for a move,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“Agents and others were searching for big clubs who are prepared to pay the high fee involved for Van Persie. Robin’s contract expires next year, so this is the moment when United can still get money for him.”
He continued: “Van Persie is in a difficult situation. To the outside world he says he is happy to stay and I can understand this. But Robin has the feeling that United want to get rid of him.
“A big club in England, Spain or Germany is a more attractive option. Until the player realises that behind his back the two clubs have done a big deal.
“That is the moment the pressure is put on. You are almost forced to go to the club where your employer has struck a deal. This is what I mean with games being played right now.”
Former Fenerbahce forward Van Hooijdonk believes that his old club are interested in signing the Dutchman, and feels Van Persie should leave United this year.
“Of course the money is good, life is good in Istanbul, but it is not a big football league in Europe we are talking about,” he added.
“There is a lot at stake right now for Robin. He could be heading for his last Euro tournament in France next summer. So he needs to play a lot in the 10 months before the Euros.
“I would advise Robin to leave United this summer. All the signals are there that the club wants to sell him. So he has to get out on time.”