Ferguson coy after confirming RVP bid
Manchester United manager Sir 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 on Friday 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 but it is said to have fallen well short of Arsene Wenger's valuation, which is thought to be approaching £30million.
"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."
It is doubtful other likely suitors, Manchester City and Juventus, would go anywhere near that amount either, even though they are also believed to have made an initial move.
While Ferguson 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. He said: "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.
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. Press Association Sport has learned Van Persie will not travel to Asia 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.
Wenger has reiterated his desire to keep Van Persie, whose deal expires next summer. He told Arsenal Player: "For me, Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best, and my desire is to keep him at the club. As for the rest I will do what is in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club. That, at the moment, is where we are."