Man Utd now favourites to sign Arsenal captain van Persie

Manchester United have emerged as favourites to sign Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, edging their local rivals Manchester City and Serie A champions Juventus, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The 29-year-old has expressed his intention not to renew his current Arsenal contract – which expires next summer – and there has been speculation that van Persie will leave North London this summer. Both Manchester clubs and Juventus have had bids for the Netherlands international rejected.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has conceded defeat in his race to sign Van Persie and according to MEN sources, the Arsenal striker could seal a move to Manchester United as early as tonight. Reports suggest the Gunners value the player at around £25m, though Manchester United are thought to have bid around £20m.

Van Persie has joined up with his teammates in Germany ahead of Arsenal’s pre-season match against Bundesliga side Cologne on Sunday. Despite his training U-turn it is still expected that he will move away from the Emirates Stadium before the close of the transfer window.

United are now clear favourites to sign the player after Juventus appeared to cool their interest in van Persie, and Sir Alex Ferguson recently stayed away from United’s pre-season game in Norway, with reports suggesting he was working on the deal to sign van Persie.

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