There is less than three weeks remaining before the transfer window closes and there is only one club in the picture to sign last year's English Premier League golden boot winner Robin van Persie after he declined Arsenal's new contract, publically stating that he wants to leave as the AFC is not heading in the right direction.
As soon as the statement was released, the likes of Manchester City, Juventus and Manchester United were linked to the Dutch hit man. Manchester City were very keen but ultimately left disappointed after the striker said no to them. Thus, the fight to sign him was between Juve and Manchester United and many thought Juve would woo him away.
But unfortunately for the Turin-based club, their coach Antonio Conte got implicated in the match-fixing scandal and his future was uncertain until August 10. On Friday, Conte was handed a ten-month ban to leave only United in the picture. But it is not as straight forward as it looks. Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger has not done any business with Manchester United during his term and he will be pretty reluctant to sell his skipper to direct EPL rivals unless United come up with an outstanding offer.
Arsenal want at least 25 million pounds from the Red Devils but United are not willing to top 20 million pounds.
According to reports, Arsenal want at least 25 million pounds from the Red Devils but United are not willing to top 20 million pounds for a player who is 29, has a poor injury record and just has one year left on his contract. If reports from several top journalists are to believed, personal terms have already been agreed between United and van Persie. This makes the situation pretty tricky.
Arsenal won't want to lose their captain and top striker, but they will surely have one thing in the back of their mind - if they don't sell him now and he refuses to extend the contract after the season starts, then they can lose him for just three million pounds in the January transfer window and for free at the end of the season. That won't make any sense from a business point of view.
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson already has gone public about his interest in signing the striker but he was unsure about wrapping up the deal as Arsenal are trying to force van Persie away from the EPL just to make sure he does not join the title rivals. Arsenal still have a slight hope that they can keep the striker and make him sign a new contract. Wenger knows that he has done a great business in this transfer market and if he makes RVP stay, they can really be seen as title contenders, if not in Europe than at least in England.
It’s difficult to see why United want another striker when they already have the likes of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov in their ranks. Unless Ferguson has already received a bid for Berbatov and he wants Persie to replace him. There is no denying that van Persie is a fantastic footballer and that Ferguson will love to team him up with Rooney up front. If he manages to do that then Rooney, RVP, Shinji Kagawa, Nani and Valencia can rip apart any defence in the world.
But this won't be an easy deal to strike. After already missing out on his top transfer targets of Eden Hazard and Lucas Moura, Ferguson needs to act quickly if he’s serious about bringing van Persie to Old Trafford, otherwise he will miss out on another target and that won't go down well with the club's crazy supporters. The things that can work in Ferguson’s favour is that either he gives Arsenal the amount of money they want or he waits till the transfer deadline on August 31 and forces Arsenal to sell him on his terms.
But the best thing for both the clubs and the player is to sort it out before the start of the season kicks off on August 18.