Manchester United are facing up to the reality that Robin van Persie needs a knee operation. The People says Van Persie delayed a knee operation which would have ruled him out of the World Cup after a request by Louis van Gaal's Holland.

The United manager at the time, David Moyes, wanted Van Persie to undergo surgery to repair the ligament damage he suffered to his left knee in the 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos in February.

But senior Dutch officials put pressure on the player and his club to manage the injury with rest rather than undergo surgery which would have prevented him from going to Brazil.

Van Persie still hasn't had the operation and the belief at the Old Trafford club is that he will never be 100 per cent until he has.

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