Robin van Persie appears to have lost his fitness battle for Manchester United's clash with Southampton at Old Trafford today.

The Dutch striker returned from international duty with Holland nursing a calf injury and Sunday Mirror Sport understands he has been ruled out of the visit of the Saints.

Van Persie's latest injury will come as a bitter blow for David Moyes as United look to rebuild their Premier League campaign after three defeats in their opening six games.

RVP missed United's 4-1 derby hammering by Manchester City last month after suffering a thigh strain in training.

After being troubled by continuous injury problems during his time at Arsenal he stayed relatively injury-free following his £30million move to United and scored 30 goals as the Reds reclaimed the title.