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RVP: United may be my last club


Robin van Persie in action for Holland. Picture: Reuters

Robin van Persie in action for Holland. Picture: Reuters


Robin van Persie in action for Holland. Picture: Reuters

ROBIN van Persie has admitted he may end his career at Manchester United.

The 29-year-old Holland striker says the fact United have a track record in valuing older players such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes may persuade him to see out his playing days at Old Trafford too.

Van Persie said: "For the next few years I will be at Manchester United - and maybe longer. United could be my last club."

The former Arsenal striker's current United contract will end when he is 33 but with 39-year-old Giggs and Scholes, 38, for inspiration, the striker may be tempted to extend his time at the club.

"You have a number of clubs in Europe where older players can find it good, where they are valued. You used to have that at Juventus and AC Milan, Manchester United today is a good example. So who knows how long I will stay at the club," he added.

"There is a new challenge for me every day at United. My development is an ongoing process. That gets an extra boost when you are surrounded by new coaches and team-mates, all with their own ideas, in a totally new environment."

Van Persie scored twice for Holland against Romania last night to overtake Johan Cruyff's international goal tally. Cruyff scored 33 goals in 48 appearances of a curtailed international career and van Persie is now on 34 goals from 74 caps.

Van Persie is second in the Premier League scoring charts this season with 19 goals, three behind Liverpool's Luis Suarez, and United will be hoping his international form will see him pick up domestically after a spell of just one goal in 10 matches for the club.

Giggs, meanwhile, does not think it will be long before there are a few more additions to the Premier League over-40s club. After signing a one-year contract extension with United, Giggs will join that exclusive band next season.

So far, taking out the 10 goalkeepers who have done it, there are only two members, Gordon Strachan and Giggs' former Red Devils team-mate Teddy Sheringham.

Indeed, such are the fitness levels Giggs has managed to maintain throughout the latter stages of his career, no-one would be that surprised if he went on to fulfil the assessment Alex Ferguson made yesterday by completing two more campaigns with the Old Trafford outfit.

However, the veteran Welshman believes advances in sports science make it easier for players to prolong their careers if they retain the desire to do it. "There are two ways of looking at it," Giggs said.

"Players are getting a lot of money now. Do they want to play on to their late 30s?

"But there is the other side. With the involvement of sports science, players looking after themselves more – and the facilities are so much better.

"So if they want to, and if they have the desire, players can go on a lot longer than they used to."

Giggs' recent appearance against Real Madrid was his 1,000th in senior football.

"Luckily, I have managed to stay injury free and also had the continuity of the manager.

"I have looked after myself as well, but no-one could envisage getting to 1,000 games," he added.