It is all getting rather uncomfortable for new Man Utd manager David Moyes.
The pressure of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest manager there has ever been, was always going to be a heavy burden; but the bumpy ride thus far has been recently exacerbated by the growing discontent of their most treasured superstar.
Robin van Persie’s reported unhappiness is of real concern to the club, with the rumour of a submitted transfer request festering uncomfortably in the back of Man Utd fans’ minds across the globe.
The Dutch striker has experienced a change of fortune this season on many levels. The euphoric highs of his first Premier League triumph last season have been dulled by the re-emergence of his susceptibility to injury, matches of demoralising isolation up top, and a growing resentment of the fact that Sir Alex is no longer at the helm.
The striker has had ‘heated exchanges’ with Moyes, according to Goal.com, and is supposedly unhappy with the different methods of training imposed by the Scot, with Van Persie feeling like he is being overtrained.
Worryingly for Utd, Italian sources are now suggesting that RVP has his heart set on a move, and go so far as to say that the 30-year-old has played his last game for David Moyes; with Barcelona reportedly interested in signing him in January, as well as striker-shy Real Madrid.
Van Persie is currently sidelined with a thigh injury sustained during the narrow home win over Shakhtar Donetsk just over a week ago. The timing of the injury couldn’t have come at worse time for the club, but it does seem to be rather convenient for the unsettled RVP.
The striker will not turn out for Utd until nearly two weeks into the January transfer window.
Conspiracy theorist have pointed out that Van Persie showed little sign of discomfort after taking the corner in question, and played the best part of half an hour after the injury was sustained, which was reported a whole three days later.
I wouldn’t want to insinuate that the Dutchman would partake in such underhand measures so as to pressure Moyes into granting a hypothetical transfer request, but these farfetched rumours still serve as food for thought.
Van Persie has cut a visibly frustrated figure recently for Utd, with little in the way of creative spark behind him in the midfield. It is vaguely reminiscent of his final year at Arsenal, where he found himself as the figurehead and sole shining light of a side quickly out of the title race, and leaving it late in securing an automatic Champions League spot.
If he were to make a move, he would surely have to leave England. Spain would be the only viable destination, and with Barca and Real both showing an interest, the lure of playing with the likes of Messi or Ronaldo compared to Nani and Tom Cleverely may just be too tempting.
What do you think? What will happen in the January transfer window? Let me know in the comments below…