Fergie coy after confirming van Persie bid
09:14, 21 Jul 2012
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson must decide whether to up the ante in a bid to snare last season's Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie.
Ferguson was forced to admit last night that the Red Devils had made a bid for Van Persie, claiming Arsenal had made the approach public.
United have not stated the sum offered.
However, it is said to have fallen well short of Arsene Wenger's valuation, which is thought to be approaching £30m.
It is doubtful other likely suitors, Manchester City and Juventus, would go anywhere near that amount either, even though, like United, they are believed to have made an initial move.
Ferguson is the one who has spoken, though.
And, while he refused to shed too much light on the situation, it is clear in order to push through a deal he needs to increase his offer.
"Obviously Arsenal have given out the fact that we've made a bid for him," Ferguson told MUTV.
"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 are at the moment."
Van Persie won both Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Association player of the year prizes in recognition of his phenomenal 36-goal contribution for Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign.
While the 28-year-old Holland forward's qualities are obvious, with England duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck at his disposal already - in addition to Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young, new boy Shinji Kagawa plus, for now, Dimitar Berbatov - it does not appear that Ferguson needs more firepower.
Certainly some fans would complain if Van Persie arrived but there were no midfield reinforcements, which it would appear the Red Devils are in urgent need of.
Whilst Ferguson was incorrect to claim Arsenal had released a statement on Van Persie, it is beyond dispute that the Gunners would benefit financially from heightening interest in their player, even if Wenger would prefer to keep him.
That seems impossible, though.
It is understood Van Persie will not travel to Asia later today on Arsenal's pre-season tour, although the Gunners were keen to stress his non-involvement was due to the striker having only trained for four days since returning from holiday.
The saga is shaping up to be a carbon copy of those that saw Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both sold last summer - something which dragged on towards the tail end of the transfer window.
United lost out to their neighbours' superior spending power in the battle to sign Nasri and it will presumably require something other than pure finance for the Old Trafford outfit to capture their man this year.
Arsenal have already signed two new strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud but are also said to be lining up Spain star Fernando Llorente were Van Persie to leave.