Friday Kickoff: Van Persie hopes for Man United extension; Hoeness resigns from Bayern; and more

Friday Kickoff: Van Persie hopes for Man United extension; Hoeness resigns from Bayern; and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Van Persie hopes for Man United extension; Hoeness resigns from Bayern; and more

RobinVanPersieManUnited1-WestBromwichAlbion (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

After weeks of slow churning from the rumor mill, Manchester United forward Robin Van Persie has addressed rumors that he wants to leave.

The Dutch international told Man United’s match-day program, United Review, that contrary to reports, he’s glad to be at Man United and he hopes that he can even extend his stay beyond June 2016, when his current deal ends.

“What I need to address are the situations when people are taking it upon themselves to think for me, make assumptions, or interpret things as if they are me,” Van Persie said. “Last time I checked my head was still attached to my body, so I’m the only one who knows exactly what I’m feeling and that is not what I or the fans have been reading.

“The truth is I’m very happy here at this club. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract. This is how I feel, although it’s not what has been suggested in the media.”

Van Persie also backed David Moyes to help turn around Man United’s fortunes in the future. The 30-year-old has struggled through thigh and groin injuries this season but has still managed to score 14 goals in all competitions.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Friday:

HOENESS ACCEPTS SENTENCE, RESIGNS FROM BAYERN MUNICH

Bayern Munich are looking for a new president.

One day after Uli Hoeness was sentenced to more than three years in jail by a German court for tax evasion, the former Bayern player resigned from his position as president of the club, effective immediately.

“After discussing the matter with my family I have decided to accept the judgment passed by Munich District Court (Landgericht) II regarding my tax affairs,” Hoeness wrote on Bayern’s website. “I have instructed my legal representatives not to appeal the verdict. This corresponds to my understanding of integrity, decorum and personal responsibility. Evading tax was the biggest mistake of my life. I accept the consequences of this mistake.

“Furthermore I hereby resign the offices of president of FC Bayern München e.V. and chairman of the FC Bayern München AG supervisory board with immediate effect. By doing so I wish to avert further damage to my club. FC Bayern München is my life’s work and will always remain so. I will continue to be associated with this magnificent club and its people in other ways for as long as I live.”

Hoeness was convicted of withholding 27.2 million euros ($38.8 million) in income that he hid in an undisclosed Swiss bank. Hoeness was originally investigated for not paying 3.5 million euros in taxes but Hoeness and his attorneys soon provided more information that proved the number was much higher.

ÖZIL TO MISS MINIMUM OF THREE WEEKS WITH HAMSTRING INJURY

Following three days of waiting, Arsenal have learned the severity of Mesut Özil’s injury.

At a press conference, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger disclosed the bad news for the club, saying that the club’s record signing Özil will miss three to six weeks with a hamstring injury. Özil was substituted at halftime of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich last Tuesday, which knocked the club out of the UEFA Champions League.

“We lose Özil, who has been injured for Sunday, I don’t know how long he will be out but it looks a minimum of three weeks,” Wenger told reporters, via The Guardian. “When the minimum is three, (then) the maximum is six. I am not specialist enough to know, it is a grade two hamstring (tear), so let’s say four weeks.

“It is of course a blow, but I am confident we have the quality to deal without him (Özil). We have many creative players who can take over to produce quality performances.”

QUICK KICKS

Arsenal’s January loan signing Kim Källström is set to make his club debut on Sunday against Tottenham. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian center back Miranda wants to acquire a Spanish passport, though he won’t be able to play for Spain in the future. (REPORT)

Real Madrid full back Alvaro Arbeloa is likely to miss the next two months with a knee injury, but is still hopeful to make the World Cup squad. (REPORT)

Former Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero will leave Sydney FC at the end of the season in mid-April after the club didn’t offer the 39-year-old forward an extension. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Van Persie remaining at Man United through 2016? Do you Hoeness’ resignation affecting Bayern on the field? How big of a loss to the Arsenal XI is Özil?

Share your thoughts below.

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