By JOE BERNSTEIN
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson skipped his side’s final pre-season friendly in Hannover as his long-running feud with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger threatened to wreck a £15million move for Robin van Persie.
The Holland striker is at the top of Ferguson’s agenda after he almost certainly lost out to Paris St Germain for £30million Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura.
United’s £15m offer for 29-year-old Van Persie is only half what Arsenal are demanding from Ferguson and sources close to Old Trafford feel the great rivalry between Wenger and the Scot could count against them.
The pair were locked at the top of the English game for a decade, and although relations between the pair have mellowed in recent seasons, the fight for Van Persie, with the Dutchman preferring a move to United instead of Juventus and Manchester City, has re-opened some old wounds.
United are unwilling to increase their offer for Van Persie given the lukewarm reception to their share issue in New York this week.
Even a £15m offer together with £200,000-a-week wages for four years represents a £50m investment from the club on a player who has had a questionable injury record in the past.