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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Arsenal and Manchester United making progress over Robin van Persie transfer

The prospective transfer of Robin van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United took a significant step forward on Tuesday when negotiations resumed between the Premier League rivals.

United indicated that they were ready to improve their initial bid of around £12 million, which was rejected, and, while the two clubs remain apart in their valuations, they were locked in talks on Tuesday night.

United are understood to be Van Persie’s preferred destination but they are reluctant to spend more than £15 million on someone who is 29 and has a mixed injury record.

Arsenal have made it clear that they want at least £20 million for their captain and star player but there is now a hope that, with add-ons, agreement could be reached on a compromise deal.

Van Persie, meanwhile, has been warned that he can expect to be booed at the Emirates on Saturday if he has not been sold by Arsène Wenger before their Premier League opener against Sunderland.

Although there are doubts about his match fitness, the expectation is that Van Persie will be included in the Arsenal squad if no deal has been completed.

Samir Nasri played in Arsenal’s first home game of the season in similar circumstances last year but, even though he did eventually join Manchester City, he did not first go public with his desire to leave.

“There will be elements that will boo Robin van Persie at times and the boos do overwhelm everything else,” said Mark Brindle, a spokesman for the Arsenal fans’ group Red Action.

“I think the reaction will be varied and it will be interesting to see what is now said in the captain’s notes in the programme. I think his statement was objectionable.

"I can’t understand people who are disloyal, especially when people have been loyal towards them, but gone are the days when I worry about any one individual player.

"I think most players are mercenaries. If he plays and scores I will cheer because he is scoring a goal for Arsenal.

“If he does go to Manchester United, I’m afraid he will always be seen in the same bracket to most Arsenal fans as Ashley Cole and Samir Nasri. I couldn’t understand his statement.

"He suggests he wants more signings, but who? They have spent this summer on three good players. Does he think we can get Messi?”
Van Persie can expect to more than double his salary at Arsenal if he does move to Manchester United.

It would be a tense and awkward occasion, however, after Van Persie openly criticised Wenger’s strategy earlier this summer in publicly outlining why he would not sign a new contract.

Manchester City also retain an interest but Roberto Mancini, the manager, has been told that he must ease the wage bill before signing another striker.

“He’s a great player,” said Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City captain. “He’s proved it so many times last season and any team he would play for he’d make it stronger.”

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