Robin van Persie has lifted the lid on the ‘ruthless’ manner in which Louis van Gaal brought an end to his three-year spell at Manchester United in 2015.
Van Persie enjoyed a fine debut campaign at Old Trafford after his high-profile move from Arsenal in 2012, claiming the Golden Boot as he led United to the title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season.
However, things gradually went downhill under David Moyes and then Van Gaal in the two years that followed.
Robin van Persie (R) has revealed how Louis van Gaal (L) ended his spell at Manchester United
Hampered by an ankle injury, Van Persie managed just 12 goals in Van Gaal’s first season in charge before being sold to Fenerbahce for just £3.8m.
‘In my last season, I had this chat with Louis van Gaal,’ the 36-year-old said while on Jake Humphrey’s High Performance podcast.
‘I had two very good seasons with the national team but my last season in Manchester, his first season, was not great.
‘I had this chat with Louis van Gaal and he told me: “Alright Robin, I am the coach, you are the player, you have to go. Your time is up.”‘
Van Persie says he was frozen out in the summer that followed Van Gaal’s first season
‘I said I still have a contract but he said “I don’t care”‘. ‘Towards the end of it, I saw something coming, but not this ruthless and the way he said it as well.
‘A lot of things go through your mind when you get a message like that, because I still have a contract, my family were happier than they had ever been in England. We loved living in England.
‘But what’s next? My kids go to school, they have their friends and everything, so for a split second, all of these things come across and how do you react to that?
‘I said (to Van Gaal) yes, that is your opinion but I have a contract and I am happy in England, at Manchester United and my family is as well, so we will see what happens.
The forward says that his compatriot gave him little option but to leave Old Trafford
‘So I shook his hand and stood up. It was at the golf club in Mere, so I stood up and left it.
‘On the way back home, I was thinking how do you react to a message like that, so ruthless, so hard, so direct. Loads of things went through my mind.
‘We started the pre-season and I wasn’t allowed to play in the 11 vs 11 match.
‘You try to stay calm and stay cool but there is loads of things happening. You say it doesn’t affect you but it does. It affects me, my family and my career big time.’