Robin van Persie: Possible next club

Sports Mole picks out five potential new clubs for Robin van Persie, should reports that he wants to leave Manchester United prove to be true.

Mark Lawrenson sparked speculation yesterday that Robin van Persie had asked for a transfer away from Manchester United.

The former Liverpool defender has claimed that journalists informed him that the Dutch striker had told his manager David Moyes of his wish to leave the Premier League champions on Tuesday.

It must be stressed that the rumour has not been confirmed by Moyes, Van Persie or the club, but nevertheless, Sports Mole has picked out five possible destinations for the 30-year-old should he depart Old Trafford.

1. Arsenal
If Arsenal fan Piers Morgan has his way, this is a transfer that will never happen. The television presenter, who has previously called for Arsene Wenger to be sacked and Aaron Ramsey to be sold, recently tweeted: "No, Van Pursestrings @Persie_Official - you can't come back." The truth is, a lot of Arsenal supporters will be probably agree with Morgan. He left them last summer and although he fired United to the title last season, most Gooners will probably be amused by his reported unhappiness. From a football point of view, as well as Olivier Giroud has done this term, an in-form Van Persie would probably make Arsenal the favourites to win the Premier League. What's more, Wenger is believed to still have a positive relationship with the Dutchman.

2. Barcelona
It is no secret that Barcelona's Plan A is to get Lionel Messi on the ball as much as possible. Then, if Plan A doesn't work, they continue to use it anyway! Some reports have suggested that Barca coach Gerardo Martino is keen to recruit a central frontman either in January or the summer to provide him with greater options in attack. Robert Lewandowski is a name that has been linked with a Camp Nou switch, but the Catalans may be tempted to make a move for Van Persie, should he become available.

3. Chelsea
Jose Mourinho spent most of the summer unsuccessfully chasing Van Persie's United teammate Wayne Rooney. Instead, the Chelsea boss recruited Samuel Eto'o, who has so far failed to produce the goods on a consistent basis. While he is likely to retain an interest in Rooney, it would be a surprise if someone of Van Persie's ability did not interest the Portuguese coach. Similar to Arsenal, the January arrival of Van Persie could prove to be the difference between Chelsea winning the title and falling short.

4. Bayern Munich
For a long time Lewandowski appeared to be bound for the Allianz Arena once his contract with Borussia Dortmund expires in the summer, but some newspaper stories of late have claimed that Pep Guardiola has doubts over the Polish centre-forward. Of course, Lewandowski may still complete a transfer to the Bavarians, but if Guardiola is keen on an alternative option, he may consider a move for Van Persie. It is a sale that United may also prefer as well because Bayern are obviously not a domestic rival.

5. Real Madrid
Since Karim Benzema arrived at the Bernabeu in 2009, he has scored a more than respectable 97 goals in 201 outings, as well as laying on 55 assists. Even so, there are certain sections of the Madrid faithful that have not taken to the French international. The likes of Luis Suarez and Lewandowski have previously been linked with moves to the La Liga outfit, but Van Persie could well be added to their wanted list. The last Dutch striker to leave United for Los Blancos was Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2006. He featured on 96 occasions for Madrid, scoring 64 goals.

Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates as he scores their fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United on May 19, 2013
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