It would seem that Robin Van Persie has an interest in extending his current contract at Manchester United beyond the further two years he currently has left to run. There have been rumors for much of this season that the striker was actually unhappy at United under new manager David Moyes. Even a possible summer exit had been touted, occasionally, but a surprising new twist came when Van Persie stated that he was indeed happy at the Premier League champions, and that he would even like to extend his stay.
The one thing that statement does do is dampen down the speculation that has been ongoing around the club. Van Persie also publicly gave his personal backing to Moyes as United manager, and it will obviously be good for the new man to hear an influential voice in support of him. With so many positives coming out of these statements, it makes you consider how sincere they actually are. They may well be, of course, but it just seems so convenient for everybody for Van Persie to say these things right now.
If they are genuine, honest comments from Van Persie though, then what should United make of his desire to extend his contract? Van Persie is now 30 years old and with an injury record like his, you would need to think long and hard about giving him a new contract at this point, with two years still to run. What about a new wage to go with it too? You can’t imagine Van Persie taking a wage drop and after last season, the Dutchman would probably argue he deserves a pay hike.
Wayne Rooney has just signed a deal to make him the highest paid player at the club, on a rumored £300,000 a week. Perhaps that has something to do with Van Persie’s eagerness for a new deal? It wouldn’t exactly deter you, would it? Would Van Persie really be worth anywhere near that amount though, given his age and past injury record? I certainly don’t think so. Van Persie has already missed a large chunk of this season, as he got re-acquainted with the treatment table after a good injury-free year last season. Last year was actually one of the best years of Van Persie’s career for avoiding injuries.The problem though, is that it’s a one-off year, as this season has shown.
Could his injury record improve as he gets older? It’s doubtful. More than likely, it’ll worsen. If it was a younger, prime Van Persie, then you would obviously support the possibility of an extended contract. Right now though, you would have to doubt the logic of the idea given all the factors involved. Wages of that level could go towards a younger model, who might have a better chance of staying fit in the next few years and will probably still have many years ahead on top of that. It’s a decision United would have to make sensibly if it were to seriously come about.
Why is Van Persie bringing this up now anyway? With two years still to run on his current contract? Well, probably because he can demand much more money now than he could at 32 years of age. Perhaps that’s cynical thinking, or perhaps it’s sensible thinking. Either way, it’s probably right.