Van Persie refuses to go on pre-season tour with Arsenal
Manchester United and Manchester City have made £15million bids for wantaway Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, who has refused to join his team-mates on the pre-season tour of the Far East.
The Premier League giants have been joined in the race for the Dutchman’s signature by Juventus who have also made an official approach.
Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed United’s bid after touching down in Cape Town during their summer tour.
He told MUTV: ‘Obviously Arsenal have given out the fact that we’ve made a bid for him. We try to keep business as close as possible to us until the moment we conclude a deal. There’s no point talking about something that might not happen.
‘There are other clubs interested in the player. We’ve shown an interest and that’s where we’re at at the moment.’
Van Persie trained with his Arsenal team-mates on Friday morning and looked relaxed.
Arsenal are holding out for at least £20m for Van Persie, whose contract expires next summer.
Manager Arsene Wenger wants a quick resolution to the Van Persie saga so he can either prepare for the new season with the Dutchman in his plans or have enough time to find a replacement.
Arsenal had been adamant their captain will make the trip to Malaysia on Saturday, but he will now remain behind, which surely signals the beginning of the end of his Gunners career.
Arsenal fly to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday for a three-match tour. Arsenal play City at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing next Friday.
Sportsmail understands Wenger and his scouting team have spoken at depth about a move for Spain forward Fernando Llorente should their talisman leave.
The 27-year-old – who scored 28 goals for Bilbao last season – has a £28million release clause written into his contract.
And Wenger would use the £20m-plus from Van Persie’s sale in his attempt to lure the striker.
At 6ft 5ins, Wenger believes Llorente has the physical attributes and ability on the ball to deal with the rigours of English football.
But whether Bilbao would be willing to negotiate a deal below his hefty release clause remains unclear.
In addition to Llorente, Fiorentina Stevan Jovetic and Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski have also been discussed as possible replacements for Van Persie.