Man Utd transfer focus – Arsenal frustrate Ferguson over van Persie

Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his frustration at the Robin van Persie transfer saga following Manchester United’s pre-season fixture against Barcelona. reported that Ferguson was keen to persevere with the deal despite Arsenal trying to sell their captain to an alternative side than the Old Trafford outfit.

In 16 years at the Gunners Arsene Wenger has never sold a player to his Mancunian rivals, and is loath to lose his prized asset to them in this transfer window. The ideal scenario for Arsenal is for the wantaway Dutchman to depart to a foreign side, with Juventus the most likely destination. Having strengthened his attack with Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, Wenger seems resigned to losing the reigning PFA Player of the Year, but not at the expense of strengthening one of his fiercest Premier League rivals.

Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, would welcome van Persie to Old Trafford, having acknowledged he would be “a great addition to the squad“. The two No 10s would form a formidable strike force for United, helping create a fluid frontline full of flair and imagination. The interchanging that they would provide is an ideal coveted by Ferguson, who likes his forwards to roam in a manner that sees them seek out space and makes them difficult to track at the same time.

Lucas Moura would have been a player in a similar mould, but the Brazilian has instead opted to join mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain for a fee thought to be £36.2m. The Daily Telegraph reports Lucas’ decision as a “snub” to United, but the truth is more likely to be that PSG came in with an offer over the heads and the reach of the Manchester club. The wages offered to the 19-year-old will also be much higher than Ferguson was willing to pay for the unproven youngster.

United’s supporters will criticise the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, for not being able to compete for signings at the highest level. Despite the fee for Lucas being exceptionally high, Ferguson has broken the bank on a number of occasions throughout his career when securing the services of talented youngsters. Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were both brought in for record-breaking sums, at a time when the club was not shackled by the huge debt piled onto it by the Glazers.

Fans will be looking at the share issue that was claimed to be aimed at raising funds to pay down debt, that will instead see tens of millions of pounds disappear out of their club to the owners. The BBC reported that United were forced to cut the price of their shares to $14 instead of the $16-20 that they hoped for, meaning $100m less will be raised by the flotation of 10% of the club on the New York stock exchange.

The potential van Persie deal takes on added significance for United following the loss of Lucas, and Ferguson will be desperate to deliver the marquee signing despite Arsenal’s stalling.

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