FOOTBALL NEWS

04/08/2014 11:57, Report by Ben Hibbs

Van Persie back and eyeing new season

Robin van Persie has returned to training with Manchester United at the Aon Training Complex as he begins his preparations for the new Barclays Premier League campaign.

Following his exploits with the Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil, in which he helped Louis van Gaal's Dutch side achieve third place, the 30-year-old striker took time off to rest and recuperate ahead of the 2014/15 campaign. But now he is back in Manchester and ready to step up his fitness.

Robin confirmed via Twitter on Monday: "Back in training today after a short break. Looking forward to the new season so much! Hope you [are] all feeling the same."

Van Gaal has sent assistant coach Marcel Bout back to England from Tour 2014, presented by Aon, in the United States. Bout is working with Nicky Butt to train the remaining players not in the US party. Among them are Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj.

However, all three players are at this stage unlikely to play in the friendly against Valencia at Old Trafford on 12 August, but could be available for the opening game of the campaign against Swansea City four days later, though the United manager admits that it is "dependent on the individual because every individual is different".

Before United's International Champions Cup final against Liverpool in Miami, van Gaal wouldn't place any date on van Persie's return to action, saying: "I have to see how Robin comes back. If you have had three weeks' holiday, you are not fit enough. The first Premier League match is possible but I don't think so."

More: Van Gaal: Almost time to judge squad

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