Robin van Persie’s poor season under Louis van Gaal saw him unceremoniously told that his time at Manchester United would be coming to an end, despite his contract not up for expiration.
The recently retired Persie has now opened up about his departure and why he wasn’t quite sure how to react upon hearing his manager’s decision.
“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.'
“I said I still have a contract but he said ‘I don't care'. Ruthless.
“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? 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.
“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.
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“You say it doesn't affect you but it does. It affects me, my family and my career big time.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago