Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson says if boss Sir Alex Ferguson wants Ruud van Nistelrooy to leave, the Dutchman is on his way out of the club.
Van Nistelrooy, 29, drove away from the ground on Sunday before the game with Charlton and Ferguson will discuss his actions in a board meeting this week.
Robson told BBC Radio Four:
“Once Sir Alex makes his mind up about players he does it and nothing stands in his way. The signs are there and there could be something in him leaving the club.”
Van Nistelrooy is thought to have been unhappy at being left out of the side to face Charlton, after spending much of the second half of the season on the bench.
Speaking after the game, Ferguson said to Sky Sports:
“There have been a couple of issues during the week that concerned us in terms of the spirit of the club. On such an important day, I felt that Ruud should be left out. We will be discussing it with club directors.“
Van Nistelrooy was at Old Trafford on Sunday morning and is understood to have been fully fit and expecting to play alongside Louis Saha because Wayne Rooney is sidelined with a broken bone in his foot. But he had left the ground by the time the team ran out and Giuseppe Rossi was selected to play alongside Saha. Recent newspaper speculation has suggested that Van Nistelrooy may leave United in the summer – but Ferguson has not made any comment on his future.