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Robin van Persie on his future: I'm not going to be part of a puppet show


Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has rubbished suggestions he wants to leave Old Trafford.

The Dutchman is a target for Juventus and Lazio according to reports in Italy although Lazio president Claudio Lotito made it clear that he is not interested in signing the 31-year-old.

Soon to turn 32, van Persie scored 12 goals in 31 games last season with many suggesting that boss Louis van Gaal should replace him with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema or Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain.

But the former Arsenal striker insists that he is fit and eager to do well at Old Trafford next season.

"Am I worried? No, I'm totally relaxed. I have a contract with this club until 2016," van Persie told De Telegraaf.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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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