Manchester United boss baffled by reports of van Persie rift

Manchester United manager David Moyes is baffled by continuing reports that he and the currently sidelined Robin van Persie are at loggerheads.

Van Persie left Arsenal in a £20million move to Old Trafford in the summer of 2012, with one of the key reasons for his decision being the chance to work with Sir Alex Ferguson. The Holland international enjoyed a sensational debut season in Manchester, hitting 26 goals as the Reds claimed a record-extending 20th league title.

Ferguson, of course, announced his retirement at the end of that campaign, and Moyes was handed a six-year contract to succeed his compatriot. Van Persie has since struggled to recapture his best form, although injuries have restricted him to just 15 appearances in all competitions as United have all but surrendered their title defence.

It has been suggested on more than once occasion that the Dutchman is unhappy with life at Old Trafford, and that his relationship with Moyes is non-existent. However, speaking ahead of the trip to Chelsea on Sunday, another match in which van Persie will not feature, the Reds manager has expressed his disbelief at such claims.

“I keep saying it is untrue but for some reason people don’t want to write it or hear it,” he said. “But it is the fact. Most people know that I talk pretty straight. If there was something wrong I would be the first one to come out and say it. I have a really good relationship with Robin. But when you are not winning, people look for reasons, and probably think I am not getting on with Robin. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Defeat at Stamford Bridge would see United fall 12 points behind Jose Mourinho’s men, who are currently behind Manchester City and leaders Arsenal in the race for the title. Whilst Moyes will not publicly admit defeat in his quest to retain the title for the Reds, privately he will likely be relieved with a top-four finish come May.


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