Robin van Persie welcomed by fans ahead of likely Fenerbahce move
Robin van Persie is set to complete his move to Fenerbahce after being afforded a hero's welcome upon his arrival in Istanbul on Sunday night, despite current manager Louis van Gaal insisting a deal is not done.
Van Persie was met by cheering crowds at Istanbul's main airport and the club later tweeted a series of photographs of the player wrapped in a club scarf.
The Turkish giants announced on Thursday that they had entered into negotiations with United and the Dutch striker over a potential move and they appear confident that the deal is done.
The club also posted a number of quotes from player, who said: "I cannot wait to meet the fans. I am coming to a fantastic and wonderful club. It is a great honour for me.''
United have remained silent on the developments surrounding Van Persie's apparent departure since boss Louis van Gaal implied on Friday that talk of the deal was premature.
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Asked whether he was looking for a another striker because Van Persie was leaving, Van Gaal said: "When you say that it is not all true. 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 scored 30 goals for United as they won the league in 2012-13 following his £24 million move from Arsenal.
His impact since then, however, has been muted due to a series of niggling injuries, and he was limited to 10 goals in 29 appearances under compatriot Van Gaal last season.
Van Persie's former United teammate Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to the Dutchman on Sunday, insisting his arrival at Old Trafford took the team by surprise.
In a post on Facebook, Ferdinand wrote: "He was actually a better player than I thought he was when he arrived at Manchester United - I had played against him many times vs Arsenal, so I knew he was good but not this good.
"Maybe that was because he was up against me and Vida [Namanja Vidic] though!! On a serious note though, I think that was the general thought through the squad too.
"As a player he is so silky to watch, great touch, can hold the ball up & bring others into play, timings of his runs, skills & a dream of a left foot....oh and he can finish!''
Fenerbahce also signed Van Persie's former United team-mate Nani on Monday for a reported £4.25m.
If Van Persie is sold, United would have only Wayne Rooney, James Wilson and the injured Javier Hernandez -- out with a broken collarbone -- in their squad as recognised strikers following the exit of on-loan Falcao at the end of the season.