Arsenal’s Robin van Persie, celebrates with team mate Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna, after scoring against Tottenham Hotspur, during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Bogdan Maran)

Robin van Persie could be Manchester United player by the end of the week amid claims he is set to fly in from Arsenal’s training camp in Germany to tie up a deal.

Manchester Evening News, who retain close links with United, have reported that the Premier League runners-up are increasingly confident a deal can be struck with a £20million deal mooted.

United have long been the bookmakers favourites to land the Dutch striker, who turns 29 on Sunday, and received a boost over the weekend after rivals Manchester City appeared to pull out of the race.

City boss Roberto Mancini, who had previously labelled van Persie a “perfect” addition to his squad, told the Italian press that is was “unlikely” last season’s Premier League top scorer would be heading to the Etihad Stadium.

Fellow suitors Juventus are also said to have thrown in the towel after their imposed August 7 deadline passed without a deal being reached while they have been linked with a £15m bid for Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who confirmed his interest in van Persie last month, remained in Britain over the weekend while his United side flew to Norway to take on Valerenga in a pre-season friendly.

It has been widely reported that decision was borne out of the Scot’s desire to seal a deal for PFA Player of the Year van Persie, as he looks to pair the Dutchman with Wayne Rooney in a potentially devastating forward line next season.

Van Persie, who was left out of Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the Far East last month, did travel with the Gunners squad to Germany ahead of their match with FC Cologne on Sunday.

That has led some to suggest that he was considering a U-turn in his decision not to extend his contract at the Emirates Stadium with his current deal due to expire next summer.

United, as they always do with transfer speculation, have thus far refused to comment on the latest report, but it now seems that the van Persie saga will be brought to a conclusion in the coming days with United his likely destination.