Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has arrived in Turkey before his proposed move to Fenerbahce. The 31-year-old received a hero's welcome upon his arrival in Istanbul on Sunday as he was met by cheering crowds and posed with the club's scarf. Van Persie joined United for £24m from Arsenal in 2012 but struggled with injury last season, scoring 10 goals. "I am coming to a fantastic and wonderful club," said Van Persie. "It is a great honour for me." Fenerbahce said on Thursday they had entered into negotiations with United over the Dutchman, who has one year left on his contract.
Ex-United team-mate Nani joined Fenerbahce, runners-up in the Super Lig last season, for £4.25m last Monday. The departure of Van Persie, who scored 26 goals in the Premier League as United won the title in 2012-13, would leave boss and fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal with just two fit first-choice strikers in Wayne Rooney and James Wilson. Colombia forward Radamel Falcao, who spent last season on loan at Old Trafford, has joined Chelsea while Javier Hernandez is recovering from a fractured collarbone. Recent £31m signing Memphis Depay, though primarily a winger, can play a central role. He finished last season as the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 22 goals for PSV Eindhoven.
While Fenerbahce seem confident that a deal will be completed shortly, on Friday Van Gaal refused to confirm Van Persie was on his way out of Old Trafford. Asked whether he was looking for a another striker because Van Persie was leaving, Van Gaal said: "When we feel we can say he is gone you shall hear it from Manchester United. We don't have the feeling yet." Van Persie is the Netherlands' all-time top scorer with 49 goals in 98 games, a tally which includes his superb diving header in their World Cup opener against Spain in 2014. His career in England began when he joined Arsenal from Feyenoord in 2004 for £2.75m. He scored 132 goals in 278 appearances for the Gunners and has netted 58 times in 105 games for United.