London: Robin van Persie has a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to other clubs should Manchester United miss out out on a top-four Premier League finish.
Robin van Persie
This could pave the way for Van Persie to move this summer, with the player expected to push for a transfer overseas should the league champions fail to reduce the nine-point deficit to fourth position by the end of the season.
Any potential move would still have to be sanctioned by the United board, and a fee would have to be agreed with the buyer, but the get-out option increases the likelihood that the Dutchman will not be at Old Trafford next season.
The striker was a picture of frustration during United's 3-0 weekend win at West Brom before being substituted by manager David Moyes.
After shooting United to the title last season, Van Persie's second season at Old Trafford has been disrupted by injury, mixed form and a series of behind-the-scenes clashes with Moyes.
The forward's concerns about the training methods and tactics of Moyes and his staff emerged last October, and he went public with some of his misgivings following United's calamitous recent defeat to Olympiakos by citing the positional play of his team-mates as a reason for his own dip in form. Van Persie will turn 31 in August and is now willing to explore the possibility of one final pay day abroad.
Real Madrid, Inter, Juventus and Monaco are among the continental clubs closely monitoring the potential availability of the prolific Dutchman.
At this stage, it is considered unlikely that he would remain in England if he leaves United.
Arsene Wenger has no desire to take the former Arsenal star back to Emirates Stadium, while his age and wages would put off Liverpool's owners. The only realistic English avenues would appear to be Chelsea or Manchester City. Any suitor would have to match the salary of Van Persie, who has two years remaining on a £250,000-a-week contract that runs until June 2016.
In turn, Moyes might believe that it is an appropriate time to cash in on the No.9, who was a £24 million signing from Arsenal in 2012, and grant him a swift exit.
The United boss has already begun the process of sourcing a new front man as he prepares to spend a summer transfer kitty worth at least £120m. United intermediaries met with Edinson Cavani's camp in January, although Paris Saint-Germain are ready to resist any bids for the Uruguay international in the next window.