Van Persie to take on A-League stars
New Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed star striker Robin van Persie will make his first appearance of the pre-season in Saturday night's clash with the A-League All-Stars in Sydney.
Van Persie will come off the bench at ANZ Stadium, having only linked up with the squad in the past few days after missing the first leg of United's preseason tour.
The Dutchman, the Premier League's leading scorer last season following his move from Arsenal, is the undisputed drawcard of a talent-laden squad, particularly with fellow forward Wayne Rooney back in England nursing a strained hamstring.
"We'll probably only use Robin in the second half because we've over-trained him this week to make sure we build up his fitness," Moyes said on Friday.
"Because of the numbers, we've not come with a massive amount in the squad.
"From that point of view it will mean that everybody will play at some point in the game."
Asked about the influence of van Persie within the squad, Moyes said:
"He was a massively important player for Manchester United last season and I hope he has as big an influence this season."
Meanwhile Moyes, who has taken over from the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, reiterated that Rooney was not for sale amid interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Chelsea have already had one offer knocked back by United, but are believed to be putting together a new deal, with new boss Jose Mourinho desperate to land the England forward.
Rooney was sent home shortly after the team's arrival in Bangkok last week after aggravating a hamstring injury.
Rather than shedding players, Moyes said the league champions were keen to add more talent, with the former Everton manager hoping to have more news in the next 24 hours on the possible recruitment of Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
"I'm in contact with the chief executive who's been dealing with it, I'll hopefully know a bit more in the next day or so," Moyes said.