Forget Shinji Kagawa, forget Nick Powell, heck, forget Lucas Moura.
The Gunners star shocked the football world with his admission that he will not resign with the club when his contract expires at the end of the year; now it's Sir Alex Ferguson's turn to shock everyone with the Red Devils boss confident that van Persie will end up at Old Trafford next season.
Manchester United believe that they have won the £20 million race to sign Robin van Persie. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident the Arsenal captain will team up with Wayne Rooney to form a formidable strike-force in a rebuilt side he hopes can win back the title.
Ferguson is understood to have told footballing friends he believes van Persie will be moving to Old Trafford, despite the interest of money-bags Premier League champions Manchester City and Italian champions Juventus.
City are committed to off-loading players before sanctioning more big spending and, despite the champions' vastly superior financial clout, van Persie is believed to have been most tempted by a move to Old Trafford.
The news comes as somewhat of a surprise—especially given that only yesterday, van Persie reportedly told Arsenal that Juventus were the club he would most likely to move to rather than Manchester United or City.
All three sides in contention for the want-away striker have their issues.
For Juventus, whilst they represent the most viable destination for the Dutch international, there are concerns that the Italian champions cannot raise the £20-25 million required to transfer the striker as well as the £120,000 per-week contract he is believed to be worth.
According to the Independent, Juventus' ability to come up with a package that will attract interest from Arsenal will be the telling factor in the van Persie saga—with both Manchester clubs likely to wait until the Italian champions have put forward their offer. That is, if they put forward any offer at all.
The club have been told that it is Juventus whom Van Persie would prefer to join and it is Arsène Wenger's preference that he would not go to Manchester City, but there are serious doubts over whether the Italians could come up with a deal acceptable to Arsenal.
Both sides, the player and the club, are agreed that any deal will not hinge on a question of money for Van Persie – if it did he is well aware that his best option would be City – although it does now appear to come down to whether Juventus can formulate a deal.
[Juventus] are still recovering financially from their demotion to Serie B after the 2006 calciopoli scandal, and posted losses in their last published accounts of £75m for the 2010-11 season. Like all leading European clubs they are also trying to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Both clubs are obliged to wait to see whether Juventus can come up with the kind of package that would convince Arsenal to do the deal.
Thus should Juventus be unable to offer the money for van Persie and the Red Devils take over from them as the most possible destination, the real question then must become as to how the Dutch international would fit in United's attack.
Van Persie picked up the English Premier League Golden Boot Award last year with 30 goals and would no doubt form the most formidable duo in the league should he partner Wayne Rooney—who finished with 27 goals—at Old Trafford.
However, as I hinted at in a previous article, there simply doesn't appear to be the room at United for Ferguson to bring in anything more than one key signing.
Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Nani, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia—all players that will be competing for a starting position in the upcoming season.
Then consider that United are reportedly chasing Lucas Moura (via ESPN Soccernet), Christian Eriksen (via the Daily Mail) and Joao Moutinho (via Click Manchester) for next season. The room for van Persie is severely limited and the money for van Persie will most likely have been spent on other players.
Simply put, if Manchester United were actually that confident of landing van Persie, they wouldn't be chasing Lucas Moura throughout Brazil and would be offering the 19-year-old a £25-30 million contract.
Sir Alex Ferguson might be confident that Manchester United will land van Persie, but I'm just not there with him.
I know, I know—never doubt Ferguson. The man is a legend of the game and one of the greatest managers in the history of football.
Which is why I don't doubt his confidence.
I'm just not convinced about it.
Will Robin van Persie be making a move to Old Trafford?
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