Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has vowed to see out his contract at Old Trafford and fight for a starting berth next term, despite reports of an off-season departure.
Van Persie – entering the final year of his United contract – revealed earlier in June that he was evaluating his future at Old Trafford amid talk of a reduced role under Louis van Gaal in 2015-16.
The 31-year-old Netherlands international has been linked to Italian champions Juventus, Lazio and Turkish giants Fenerbahce, however the veteran believes he can still perform at the highest level.
Van Persie only scored 10 goals in 27 Premier League matches last season.
“Am I worried? No, I’m totally relaxed,” Van Persie told reporters. “I have a contract with this club until 2016.
“Things could change now, but that all depends on Manchester United not me. Believe me, I’m relaxed – I’m not going to be part of a puppet show.
“In August, I’m 32. But I still have the ambition to play for another eight years. In a few years’ time I may have to accept that I will no longer play at the very highest level. I don’t think that moment is coming now. I still feel very, very fit.
“Playing in the first team is very important for me. This is why I will probably step down one level when I am 36 or 37. But not now.
“Whenever I have been fit at United I was playing in the first team all the time. People talk about my injuries, but I’ve only had one this season.
“I’ve seen too many players quit early. Most of them regret this soon after. I’ve seen those players in the national team and at my own clubs. Even big legends have regretted their retirement. Look at Paul Scholes.
“He did quit the game but he kept training and was missing football so much, because he knew he was still capable of playing at that level.”
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