Robin van Persie
Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has reportedly targeted a return from injury in time for the derby against rivals Manchester CityGetty

Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has reportedly targeted a return from injury in time for the derby against rivals Manchester City.

According to the Daily Mail, the Dutch striker, who has missed the Red Devils' last five games due to an ankle injury he sustained during United's 2-1 loss to Swansea, believes that he will return to first-team action for the crunch clash on April 12.

Louis van Gaal's team are in a fight with City and Arsenal for second place in the Premier League and the striker is reportedly keen to repeat his 2012 heroics, when he scored a late winner to take the title back to Old Trafford.

It is believed that the former Gunners striker has stepped up his rehabilitation following a break in Holland and has been spending time at the gym with United physio Matt Radcliffe and is keen to return to training following the international break.

The 20-time English champions have crucial clashes coming up against City and Chelsea following the international break as they continue their quest to qualify for next season's Champions League and the striker will be keen to return and help his team over the line.

However, United have not suffered during his absence as they have won four out of the five games they played without him including convincing wins over top four rivals Tottenham and Liverpool.

Wayne Rooney has been given the opportunity to play in his preferred lone striker's role and he has made a point to the manager by scoring four goals in his five matches as a centre forward.

Van Persie has failed to replicate the form he showed in his first season at United and has only managed 10 goals in 26 league appearances and the Dutchman has taken responsibility for his poor club form thus far this campaign.

The 31-year-old striker, who will enter the final-year of his deal at the end of the season is unsure if the club want to retain him beyond next summer, but is sure that he will remain at Old Trafford until the completion of his current contract.