Manchester United may not be able to appoint Robin van Persie to Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff because of work permit concerns, ESPN‘s Mark Ogden has reported.
Ten Hag has emerged as the number one choice to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United’s permanent manager, with the Red Devils now ‘confident’ that a deal can be struck.
Now 38, Van Persie spent three years at Old Trafford after a £24m move from Arsenal in 2012. He scored 58 goals in 105 appearances for the club and helped them to win the 2012/13 Premier League, which remains their most recent title triumph.
Since the spring of 2021, he has been coaching the under-16 side of Eredivisie outfit Feyenoord and working with head coach Arne Slot on first-team training days. As per ESPN, he has been identified by both United and Ten Hag as a possible appointment.
Happy with Ten Hag at Old Trafford?
No, he's not the right man!
Ogden tweeted on Sunday morning that a ‘work permit issue threatens Van Persie‘ in his hopes of taking up a coaching role at United.
In the corresponding article for ESPN, he explained that both the club and Ten Hag have ‘identified Van Persie as a potential appointment’. However, sources have told the publication that the Dutchman’s ‘lack of top-level coaching experience is likely to count against him’ when he applies for a Governing Body Exemption to work in the Premier League.
As a result, the Red Devils are ‘exploring alternative options’ who can form part of Ten Hag’s backroom team. Steve McClaren and Rene Meulensteen, two former assistants to Sir Alex Ferguson, could apparently return to Old Trafford.
Is this a big blow to United, and one which could leave Ten Hag frustrated that someone he has endorsed might not join him in Manchester?
According to Ogden, One of the main reasons that they picked out Van Persie was his ‘knowledge and experience of the Premier League’. Indeed, he made 280 appearances in England’s top flight across his stints with United and Arsenal.
Fortunately, McClaren and Meulensteen more than tick those boxes. The former has 218 matches worth of managerial experience in the Premier League, having taken the reins at Middlesbrough and Newcastle United, and he was of course part of the coaching team which steered Man Utd to the treble in 1999.
Meulensteen also knows the ins and outs of Old Trafford, having worked under Ferguson between 2008 and 2013, while he too can boast English top-flight managerial experience from a subsequent spell at Fulham.
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