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Van Persie hits out at Van Gaal

Dutch striker, Robin van Persie applauds the Fenerbahce fans during his arrival from Manchester United. PHOTO/AFP

Dutch striker, Robin van Persie applauds the Fenerbahce fans during his arrival from Manchester United. PHOTO/AFP

ISTANBUL, July 20- Fenerbahce striker Robin van Persie has accused Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal of not giving him an honest chance to fight for his place in the first team.

The Netherlands international ended his three-year association with United earlier this week when he made the switch to Turkey with Fener.

Van Persie took the decision to move on after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford last season, which saw him play second fiddle to Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao in attack.

The 31-year-old claims the writing was on the wall after he was an unused substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in April and revealed that Van Gaal told him at the club’s annual charity golf day that he was surplus to requirements.

Commenting on the Stamford Bridge incident, Van Persie said: “That was one of the first signals things weren’t going in the right direction. I asked to play in the reserves, to get my minutes, but after was on the bench again.

“The atmosphere changed between me and Louis and people at the club saw it, but I was always professional. At that point I didn’t think to leave. [My wife] Bouchra was happy. The kids were happy. I was happy in Manchester.

“I was still thinking we could come back from holiday and start from scratch. He had changed his mind about me before. When he took over Holland he said to me ‘You’re the No. 3 striker.’ I was ‘O…K…’ but I fought and became the No. 1 and his captain.

“But when I came back, it wasn’t an honest battle any more. Fighting to get back in the team wasn’t given [to] me as an option. He was sending me to Pitch Two [reserves].

“And I’m a mature player. I’m not stupid. I didn’t get angry or emotional. These things are part of football, part of life. You have to make the best out of any situation so I’m doing this by moving on.”

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