THE HAGUE: Robin van Persie has been a revelation at Manchester United this season and now the Dutch international forward says he would like to finish his career at the Red Devils.
The 29-year-old joined United from Arsenal at the beginning of this season but has already become a firm fans’ favourite at Old Trafford.
With 19 Premier League goals this season - second only to Liverpool’s Luis Suarez - Van Persie has been instrumental in firing United to a 15-point lead at the league summit.
But with the likes of Ryan Giggs, 39, and Paul Scholes, 38, as team-mates, Van Persie has his eyes on a long stay in the north-west.
Van Persie told Dutch magazine Voetbal International: “For the next few years I will be at Manchester United - and maybe longer. United could be my last club.
“I think my move to United came at exactly the right time,” Van Persie said. “It shouldn’t have been any earlier or any later. Arsenal was for eight years the place to be. But last summer was the perfect moment to sign for United.
United manager Alex Ferguson’s attitude towards older players, with 39-year-old Giggs and 38-year-old Scholes still on the books, has also led the Dutchman to ponder whether he is better off staying for good.
“You have a number of clubs in Europe where older players can find it good, where they are valued.
“You used to have that at Juventus and AC Milan, Manchester United today is a good example. So who knows how long I will stay at the club,” he added.
“There is a new challenge for me every day at United. My development is an ongoing process.
“That gets an extra boost when you are surrounded by new coaches and team-mates, all with their own ideas, in a totally new environment.”
Van Persie scored twice for the Netherlands against Romania on Tuesday to overtake Johan Cruyff’s international goal tally. Cruyff scored 33 goals in 48 appearances of a curtailed international career and Van Persie is now on 34 goals from 74 caps.
Ferguson himself is part of that refreshing change, with Van Persie seeing a fun side to the 71-year-old.
“He is one of the friendliest people I have ever come across in my life. Of course Ferguson has another side, when he is in the game mode. Then he is a warrior just like us, the players on the field,” he added.
“Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is the same. People base their opinions on what they see on TV of him. That is 20 per cent of the reality. I get it, it is human to judge that way, but for good judgment you need more information.”
However his recent form in England has not been quite so prolific, with just one goal in 10 matches for the club.