Van Persie cheekily claims there is one team Erik ten Hag won't want in Last 16

Robin van Persie has cheekily suggested there is one team Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will not want to face in the last 16 of the Europa League.

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The Red Devils fell behind to Barcelona in the second leg of Thursday’s knockout round play-off tie at Old Trafford but rallied with a superb second-half display as goals from Fred and Antony secured a 2-1 (4-3 on aggregate) victory.

United can now get excited about Friday’s round-of-16 draw and Van Persie was not entirely convinced by Ten Hag’s claim that he does not care who his side face in the next round.

Asked if he has thought about who United might face in the last 16, Ten Hag told BT Sport: ‘It doesn’t matter for me!

‘I focus on Newcastle United [in the Carabao Cup final], that is the only thing that counts. Doesn’t matter who will come, we have to beat them all, we know that, if you want to win a cup.

‘We will see. We will respect every opponent, don’t get me wrong. But we are well prepared and we have strong belief we can do it.’

At that point Van Persie interjected and said: ‘I think Erik wants to play against anyone except one team. Who’s that? Feyenoord!’

Ten Hag laughed and replied: ‘I go to [Robin] to get all the information! No, I think it’s a possibility.’

Van Persie has been coaching at Feyenoord since hanging up his boots, though there certainly will not be any divided loyalties if the two teams were to face off.

Asked who he would be rooting for if the two sides were drawn against each other, the Dutchman replied: ‘I work for Feyenoord now! And Feyenoord is my childhood team so.. difficult one.

‘Listen, Manchester United won so many things over the years, let Feyenoord win this one then!’

United can face any of the seeded teams who won their Europa League groups in the next round except for Arsenal, as they are from the same association.

That means Feyenoord, Real Betis, Fenerbahce, Ferencvaros, Freiburg, Union Saint-Gilloise and previous group opponents Real Sociedad could all be drawn out of the pot in Friday’s draw.

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