A former Old Trafford favorite Van Persie has revealed that the eccentric Dutch head coach pressured him out of the club in 2015.
Robin van Persie has opened up on his Manchester United exit 5 years ago, insisting he deliberate to see out the final year of his contract before sitting down for a meeting with “ruthless” Louis van Gaal.
The Red Devils snapped up Van Persie for an initial £22.5 million ($28m) from arch-rivals Arsenal in the summer of 2012, tying the prolific striker down to a four-year deal at Old Trafford.
The ex-Netherlands superstar right away provided a return on the club’s investment, scoring 26 goals in his first 36 Premier League appearances to help fire United to the title.
Unfortunately, his spell in Manchester took a turn for the worst when Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, as he was decreased to a bit-part role beneath the legendary manager’s successor David Moyes.
Van Persie’s fortunes didn’t improve much when Van Gaal was drafted in to replace Moyes beforehand of the 2014-15 season, with a string of injuries appreciably limiting his contribution to the team.
Van Gaal ultimately deemed the former Arsenal frontman surplus to necessities a year before his final deal was due to expire, and he was offered to Fenerbahce for a cut-price fee of £4 million.
“I had this chat with Louis van Gaal and he told me: ‘OK Robin, our ways will part. I’m the coach, you are the player – you have to go, your time is up’,” Van Persie told the High-Performance Podcast of his acrimonious departure.
“I was like: ‘Yeah however I nonetheless have a contract?’ He said: ‘I don’t care’.
“Ruthless. Towards the end of it, I noticed something coming however not this ruthless. And the way he said it as well. And then a lot of things go through your mind when you get a message like that.
“I still had a contract, my family was happy, it was my eleventh year in England. We love living in England. What’s next?
“My children are going to school, they have their buddies and everything. So in a split second, all these things come across [your mind]. How do you react to that?
“I said: ‘We will see what happens. That’s your opinion. But I have a contract and I’m comfortable in England at Manchester United. So we will see what happens’. And I stood up, shook his hand and left it.”
Van Persie went on to express regret over how he dealt with being left out of a training match by Van Gaal, as he opted to play the “macho card” instead of remaining “cool” over his situation.
“On the way home back I was thinking: ‘Okay, this is tough. How do you react to a message like that?’,” he added.
“That ruthless, that hard, that direct. And then loads of matters came through my mind and we started out pre-season. I wasn’t allowed to play in the eleven vs eleven and I was given a ball and told to do my own stuff.
“So you try to remain calm, continue to be cool however there are loads of things happening. You’re playing the macho card. ‘It doesn’t affect me’ but it does. It does affect me, my family and my career. Big time.
“But I tried to continue to be cool, however possibly at that point, it was good for me to talk to someone outside of my inner circle however I was too stubborn to do that.
“Now if I look back at it, there was once a couple of points in my career where I ought to have done that.”