Reports suggest Manchester United will have to spend big if they are to secure the signing of Arsenal's Robin van Persie. United, along with Manchester City and Juventus have bid for the want-away Dutchman, but all three offers are said to have fallen a long way short of Arsenal's asking price.
Lucas Moura celebrates Brazil's third goal against Belarus at Old Trafford, scored by Oscar.
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The Daily Mail reports that the Gunners are seeking £30 million for the forward. Those demands appear to have sufficiently deterred Juventus from following up their interest. In truth it is hard to see any club paying such a high fee for a soon-to-be 29-year-old who has had a career blighted by a litany of injuries.
The Sunday Express claims, though, that Van Persie favors a move to Old Trafford. That news comes with a significant caveat, with Van Perise demanding to be paid on a par with Wayne Rooney's £220,000-a-week wages. According to the Express, United are prepared to sanction such a financial commitment and a deal will happen if United can bring Arsenal's asking price down to £20 million.
Such a move still looks unlikely given United's reluctance in recent seasons to spend what they see as exorbitant fees as well as their focus on recruiting young players.
Manchester United are also said to be investigating the possibility of luring another of their other Premier League rivals' star names. The Sunday Mirror reports that United have inquired about Chelsea's Ashley Cole as the left-back enters the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that a new left-back is on the agenda this summer, with Fabio going on-loan to Queens Park Rangers and at the very least competition needed for 31-year-old Patrice Evra.
Leighton Baines looks the favored option and has been strongly linked to a move from Everton. While you can never say never in football, the idea of Cole joining United this summer is far-fetched in the extreme.
Speculation that certainly has some weight behind it is the continuing saga over Lucas Moura's potential move to Old Trafford. Ferguson has confirmed his interest in the Brazilian, with United reportedly having had several bids rejected by his club Sao Paulo.
However, O Povo has suggested that a deal may not yet be dead. The Brazilian publication reports that members of Lucas' family have traveled to England to support the 19-year-old as he takes part in Brazil's challenge for Olympic gold. It is also thought that meetings could be held with United about the attacking midfielder's future.
O Povo claims that negotiations have stalled in part over disagreements about any commission that would be due to Lucas' agent.
Lucas has already gotten a taste of running out at Old Trafford having appeared as a substitute for Brazil in their 3-1 victory over Belarus on Sunday. Afterward he told ESPN Brasil that he would decide his future after the Olympics.
Further reports have emerged over the weekend linking United with a move for Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama. The Sunday Mail claims that Ferguson is keen on the Kenyan 21-year-old and will monitor him further during Celtic's Champions League qualifiers.
United have reportedly been told that Wanyama would welcome a switch and could be available for £8 million. A defensive midfielder, Wanyama joined the current Scottish champions from Belgian side Beerschot last summer.
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