Football: Van Gaal considers selling struggling van Persie

Manchester United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie warming up before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United on April 18, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Manchester United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie warming up before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United on April 18, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 

The Guardian - Robin van Persie is fighting for his Manchester United future, with the club ready to consider offers for the Dutchman this summer.

The striker, whose deal expires in the summer of 2016, wants to remain at the club and win a new contract. Van Persie will be 32 in August and is hoping to earn a one-year extension, in line with United's general policy with players in their 30s, but manager Louis van Gaal is considering allowing him to be sold.

Since being a driving force in United's last title triumph in 2012-13, his first season at the club, van Persie has suffered injury and failed to find his peak form. In that opening season he scored 30 goals but under David Moyes last season there were only 18, as injuries seriously hampered him.

This campaign, van Persie has found the net 10 times in 28 appearances, scoring only twice in 2015. Speaking in January, he admitted to being unsure about his future at the club.

"It is not up to me," he said. "For the moment I am staying here for 18 months. That is it really. I can't look into the future. I don't know what is going to happen after that. We shall have to wait and see."

Van Persie missed Saturday's 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace because of a virus and has only Sunday's visit of Arsenal and the trip to Hull City on the season's final day to enhance his case.

United's agreement to sign Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven this summer has increased the competition for places in attack.

Juan Mata has welcomed the move for the 21-year-old Depay. "We know about the signing of Memphis Depay for the next season," he said. "He's a young footballer who has shown his quality in the Dutch League. Like any new team-mate arriving here, he will be welcomed and we will help him to settle in quickly. But right now we must focus on the last two games."

Liverpool's 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday had made it all but certain that United will qualify for the Champions League but Mata has urged the team on.

"We are virtually qualified for the next Champions League, which is the least this club must achieve. It is true that being fourth we would have to play a qualifying round, but we will try to finish even higher, although in order to do so we don't depend just on ourselves. But it was vital for us to secure, at least, the fourth spot this weekend.

"Regardless of the table it's a game we have to win. We owe that to our fans: they have always been supportive throughout the season, when we played good and when we didn't. We want to have a good farewell in Old Trafford for them, although there is also one more game - away against Hull - that we will try to win as well," he said.