United have been rebuffed with bids of £10million and £15million for the Dutch striker but manager Alex Ferguson has said the club will “just have to persevere” with their attempts to sign the 29 year-old.
Van Persie has told the club that he wants to leave and would prefer to join United rather than Juventus. In his 16 years at the club, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has never sold a player to his rival Ferguson and wants Van Persie, who scored 30 Premier League goals last season, to go abroad if he is to leave rather than join an English rival.
But if Manchester United increase their bid in excess of £20million a deal is likely to be brokered this weekend between Gill, 56, and Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
Both are on the English FA’s Professional Game Board and the FA Council. Gill was in London this week to help drum up additional support at an Manchester United investor roadshow hosted by lead adviser Jefferies Group Inc. United kicked off their stock market flotation yesterday before listed on the New York Stock Exchange today.
Arsenal have been unusually busy in the transfer marker this summer, landing Spain winger Santi Cazorla, France striker Olivier Giroud and Germany forward Lukas Podolski, a trio who joined the club for a combined outlay estimated at nearly £40 million. They may be looking to recoup some of that spending by selling van Persie.
As United prepare for a new season on the pitch, Ferguson has hinted that Michael Carrick could provide emergency cover at the back for the start the new season.
The 31-year-old midfielder stepped into a defensive role against Barcelona in Gothenburg on Wednesday in the midst of an injury crisis, and may have to do so again with Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all presently injured.
Ferguson said: “Smalling is out for three months. Jones got a muscle injury in his back and was sent home from Norway, so the area we’re concerned about is centre-back. Evans won’t be ready for the start of the season. He won’t be far away, but he won’t be ready. Smalling is out and I can’t give you an update with Jones because we’ve not fully diagnosed that. But Michael Carrick was absolutely brilliant [in Sweden] with his passing the ball and his interceptions.”
Carrick could line up for new season alongside fit-again captain Nemanja Vidic, who returned to the side in the pre-season tour of Sweden after eight months out with a cruciate ligament injury. United open the season with a trip to face Everton at Goodison Park but Ferguson’s selection problems are not going to be made any easier by the loss of his biggest new arrival, Shinji Kagawa, for most of next week after the Japanese was selected for his country’s friendly with Venezuela in Sapporo. Kagawa joined from Borussia Dortmund after scoring 21 goals in 49 Bundesliga appearances.
In addition, Brazil full-back Rafael, who will play in his country’s Olympic final with Mexico at Wembley on Saturday, has also been picked for Wednesday’s encounter with Sweden in Stockholm.
United full-back Patrice Evra, meanwhile, was named in the France squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Uruguay and faces a likely reunion with Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
Suarez was handed an eight-game suspension and a £40,000 fine in December after being found guilty of racially abusing Evra in a Premier League match at Anfield.
The controversy was reignited in February when Suarez seemingly refused Evra’s handshake as the teams conducted their traditional pre-match greeting in the return meeting at Old Trafford.
By Telegraph Sport