Robin van Persie joins Manchester United...and Man City, Juventus and Chelsea

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While there's only one place Tottenham's Luka Modric wants to be next season, things don't seem quite so clear cut for Arsenal's Robin van Persie, the man at the centre of the summer's other 'transfer saga'.

The analysts at Football Manager have conducted an experiment with the aim of determining which move would best serve the Dutchman - staying at Arsenal, or joining Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Juventus.

To do this, they have simulated the 2012/13 season five times, each with Van Persie plonked into the forward line of one of the five clubs listed above.

Here's what happened (errrrm, or would happen...or is going to happen)

Appearances 46
Goals 24
Assists 14
MotM Awards 5
Average rating 7.59
League finish 1st
Trophies Premier League, Champions League
Arsenal league finish 5th

Van Persie makes his United debut on the opening day of the Premier League season, taking just four minutes to open his Red Devils account. Despite a successful campaign, his two appearances against his former club proved frustrating. He is booked and performs poorly in a 2-1 home defeat to the Gunners, before being hauled off in the second half of a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium later in the season. He does, however, score home and away against Manchester City, as well as in United's 4-1 Champions League Final win over AC Milan.

Appearances 46
Goals 22
Assists 7
MotM Awards 4
Average rating 7.22
League finish 2nd
Trophies Community Shield and FA Cup.
Arsenal league finish 5th

Rather than deploy Van Persie alongside Sergio Aguero, Digital Roberto Mancini opts to rotate the pair, rarely playing both together. This means just 30 of RVP's 46 appearances are starts, and prevents either player from really finding goalscoring form on a consistent basis. The former Arsenal man does still manage to pop up and stick one past his former club, though.
Braces against Leeds and Birmingham help City to the FA Cup Final against Liverpool where, despite not scoring, Van Persie performs well. Only man of the match Vincent Kompany rates higher than the forward's 7.7, as Mancini's side seal victory.
Things don't go quite so well in Europe though, with the Dutchman red carded in a Champions League draw at Juventus for two yellow cards in the space of five minutes. City eventually crash out of the competition at the first knock-out stage thanks to a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona.

Appearances 56
Goals 25
Assists 16
MotM Awards 8
Average rating 7.58
League finish 2nd
Trophies FA Cup and Europa League
Arsenal league finish 5th

The Dutchman succeeds where Fernando Torres failed, hitting the ground running in a Chelsea shirt. It takes him just five minutes to open his Blues account, as he blasted in early on in the West Londoners' season opener.
Despite Chelsea winning the FA Cup, Van Persie doesn't appear in the final, though he does play in the final of the Europa League, laying on an assist for Marko Marin in a 2-0 win over Benfica.
In three matches against Arsenal - two in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup, Van Persie fails to make much of an impact and is twice substituted.
Van Persie links up well fellow new boy Eden Hazard, who himself nabs 24 assists and 19. Season highlights for the former Gunner included a Europa League quarterfinal hattrick away to Lyon and a goal in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford that keeps the Blues very much in the title race until the final week of the season.

Appearances 33
Goals 15
Assists 8
MotM Awards 7
Average rating 7.43
League finish 4th
Trophies None
Arsenal league finish 5th

Although Van Persie's first season in Turin doesn't bring any trophies, the individual accolades come pouring in. He is named Serie A's Player of the Year award, Foreign Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year. In a sense, it's a lot like still being at Arsenal...

Appearances 22
Goals 10
Assists 3
MotM Awards 3
Average rating 7.16
League finish 4th
Trophies None

Perhaps tellingly, this is the only of the five simulations which sees the Gunners finish in the Premier League's top four.
Van Persie's season is blighted by injury, with a three-month lay-off with a groin muscle tear the longest spell on the sidelines. This prevents the Dutchman from finding form, and although he chips in with goals and assists at a reasonable rate and is still the club's top scorer in the league, he's nowhere near the levels of 2011/12.

Football Manager 2012 is available now