Robin van Persie admits that he may never have left Manchester United if Sir Alex Ferguson had remained in charge at Old Trafford.
The Netherlands international will return to his former club for the first time since departing for Fenerbahce in July 2015 when the two sides meet in the Europa League on Thursday.
Van Persie won the Premier League in his first season at United, which also happened to be Ferguson's last, and went on to play under both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, scoring 58 goals in the process.
However, the 33-year-old has now admitted that he may well have remained in England had Ferguson not decided to retire.
"We will never know," he told reporters when asked what would have happened had Ferguson stayed.
"It could have been that I could have been a player for Manchester United today.
"When I signed that was the idea, that Sir Alex would stay on for a few more years, but in football things change, you can't plan your own path or your coach's path.
"Things develop, things change positively and negatively. In this world you have to deal with how it comes and that is what I did."
Van Persie is now focused on his responsibilities at the Turkish giants, though he admits that he will savour his return to Manchester.
He added: "What happened, happened. I don't think you have to make it bigger than it is.
"You shake hands and move on to the next chapter. I'm not that romantic, thinking, 'that was the moment' - I will just do my lap, go in and prepare
"I have to find the right balance of having fun, enjoying the moment of being back here and doing my work.
"I have to try and do my best for Fenerbahce. I have to give my all."