Kompany tried to get me to join Anderlecht - Van Persie

Robin van Persie Feyenoord
Getty Images
The Belgium defender, who became a legend at Man City, hoped to tempt his former Premier League rival to come out of retirement - but without success

Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has revealed Vincent Kompany tried to persuade him to come out of retirement and join him at Anderlecht this season.

The 36-year-old decided to call time on his playing career at the end of the last campaign after a two-year spell back at his boyhood club Feyenoord.

At the same time, Kompany was about to play his final game for Manchester City after 11 seasons with the Premier League club.

The defender left City that summer to return to Anderlecht as player/manager, though he has since handed over matchday management responsibilities to his assistant Simon Davies.

In September, Kompany enjoyed a testimonial match back at Etihad Stadium as a City legends side took on a Premier League Legends XI, of which Van Persie was a part of.

The former Netherlands forward has since revealed that Kompany spoke to him the day after the game about the possibility of joining him in Belgium - but he turned the request down.

“That was a wonderful evening. Old-fashioned enjoyment with only top players on the field,” Van Persie told HLN.

“After 70 minutes I started getting pain everywhere, but I didn't want to leave that field. The next day Kompany called me. He was convinced that I could help him with Anderlecht.

“I saw it as a nice compliment that he approached me, but I woke up that morning with pain in my calves and knew that I should not start it (playing) anymore.”

Since hanging up his boots Van Persie has been spending more time with his family during the week while working as a TV pundit in England at weekends.

Article continues below

The former forward admits he is working in England as he has no problem being critical of his former Premier League clubs Manchester United and Arsenal, something he would struggle to do with Feyenoord.

“I love doing that (punditry). I like to talk with love for the game, but I am not afraid to say negative things either,” added Van Persie.

“Not even when it comes to Arsenal and Manchester United. I would find that difficult at Feyenoord, because I know all these guys well, but that is why I consciously started working in England."