FOOTBALL NEWS

16/08/2014 14:43, Report by Ben Hibbs

Van Persie close to return

Robin van Persie is close to being available for selection, according to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who insists he had not wanted to rush the Dutch striker back following his participation in the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Van Persie has been working with United’s coaches in the last few weeks as he builds up his fitness, and United's boss says his striker is edging ever closer to his return.

Van Gaal was quizzed on Robin’s fitness after the 2-1 defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford on the season’s opening day and told reporters: “That is a question because we have lost. I think players have to be fit.

“I could not use [Marouane] Fellaini or [Adnan] Januzaj from the first minute today because they came later from the World Cup. Van Persie was a week later than these guys. So I think always you have to be fit.

“But we have been training with Robin for three weeks. So the point that he can come in to the selection is close now.”

Van Persie has scored 48 goals in 76 appearances for the Reds since joining in summer 2012 and his renowned pedigree as a proven goalscorer will be a major plus as van Gaal looks to inspire his side following an opening-day loss in the league.

More: United 1 Swansea 2 | Van Gaal - We must learn

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