Robin van Persie could be a Manchester United player as early as tonight, according to a newspaper report this afternoon. The Manchester Evening News claims the Dutchman could be ready to fly back to England from Germany where he is currently at a training camp ahead of a friendly match for Arsenal in Cologne on Sunday. That appears not to be true but United are preparing a fresh bid.
The Evening News offers nothing to back up their story, but they could be surmising that United were ready to make one further signing this summer and with the breakdown of the Lucas Moura bid they have switched their attentions to van Persie. Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas has admitted he could be on his way to Paris Saint-Germain after revealing that talks were ongoing between the two clubs. The transfer saga had gone on for much of the past month with United having had a bid worth £30million turned down by the Brazilian club.
United gave a rough guideline to investors of a nett transfer spend of around £40million this summer ahead of their forthcoming share offer in New York. After spending £17million on Shinji Kagawa plus another £4million on Nick Powell less £2million from QPR for Park Ji-sung and perhaps another £5million for Dimitar Berbatov should he be sold, that leaves around £26million – perhaps enough for van Persie but not for a left-back as well.
United face Barcelona in Gothenburg tonight and although assistant manager Mike Phelan took the pre-match press conference today, he said expects Sir Alex Ferguson to be back in the dug-out this evening.
“The manager will be back for the game,” Phelan told MUTV.
“He’s travelling over and will be with the team soon and ready for the Barcelona game.”
Whether or not van Persie moves to Old Trafford this evening it appears that the whole of the transfer saga could be heading towards it endgame.