With Robin van Persie coming off an injury-plagued campaign and set to turn 32 years old by the start of the upcoming season, the future has become somewhat muddy for the Dutchman.
One Qatari club just made it a whole lot muddier.
Lekhwiya, managed by former Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, has reportedly offered van Persie a meaty contract worth a whopping $28 million over three years in an attempt to lure him away from the big stage of the Permier League and into a semi-retirement in Qatar.
The report in the Daily Mail says that with one year left on van Persie’s Manchester United contract Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Galatasaray are also interested, but that Qatar’s offer far exceeds what either of those clubs could reasonably offer.
Things at Manchester United have become unclear in the attacking third of the pitch. Wayne Rooney is the only constant, with Falcao likely to return to his parent club AS Monaco and 19-year-old James Wilson having only just broken into the side. There will almost certainly be at least one if not more strikers on their way in to Old Trafford, with Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke heavily rumored to be considered by the Red Devils front office.
For van Persie, a move to Qatar would likely be enticing. He moved from Arsenal to Manchester United under heavy scrutiny in order to have a better chance at winning the Premier League title, which he accomplished in his first season at Old Trafford as the feature striker appearing in all 38 matches and scoring 26 goals. In the two years since, the Dutchman’s role has slowly decreased. He was benched for much of the 2015 stretch run after a slow start to the season, moved aside in favor of the successful experiment of Wayne Rooney at striker.
Should van Persie risk a final season at Manchester United and run out his contract, he could be putting his chance at one more big contract in massive jeopardy if he indeed has little to offer next season. According to the Daily Star, van Persie had a “crisis meeting” with his agent Kees Vos this week with the striker worried about his future. While that term is largely sensationalist, it’s likely that the two met to discuss how to proceed with van Persie’s career. Qatar could be just the Get Out of Jail Free card van Persie was looking for.