United admit Moura interest as they stalk Arsenal's Van Persie
Manchester clubs and Juventus in the hunt for RVP despite Dutch striker's £10.1m ultimatum
MANCHESTER UNITED appear to be getting closer to signing Brazilian sensation Lucas Moura after Alex Ferguson has confirmed his interest in the 19-year-old Sao Paulo midfielder but admitted "we haven't reached an agreement for the player".
He was speaking during United's tour of the Far East, while Moura himself gets a taste of life in England as he and his Brazilian team mates prepare for the Olympics. According to the Daily Mail a deal is on the cards as United are desperate to find a replacement for ageing players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. It reports that several bids, including one of £27m, have been turned down as Sao Paolo hold out for £30m.
However, Ferguson does not want to pay that much as it would eat into his budget for signing Arsenal's wantaway striker Robin Van Persie. According to the ever-reliable Daily Express Fergie has been given £50 million by the United board as the club look to get back on the winning track after a trophy-less season in 2011-12. The paper says that half of that sum had been "earmarked on trying to lure" Van Persie to Old Trafford after their initial offer of £10m last week was knocked back by Arsenal.
But getting Van Persie on side is set to be an expensive business, as he is intent on feathering his nest in grand style and wants to be paid £10m a year.
According to The Sun the injury-prone Dutchman has told his courters – the two Manchester clubs and Juventus – that he feels he's worth £195,000 a week in wages. As the paper points out, that would make the avaricious Van Persie "one of the highest-paid players in the world" – not bad for a man who spent most of his eight seasons at Arsenal recovering from injury.
The Sun adds that Juventus were initially staggered by the demands but have now "reconsidered their options" and are once more on the trail of the Dutch striker. United and City are still in the hunt too, with reports suggesting that neither are "frightened off by his demands".
Elsewhere and the Daily Mirror reports that this week will see the departure of Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal. The Danish striker spent last season on loan with Sunderland and now it appears he's heading overseas to either AC Milan or Turkish outfit Galatasary.
The Mirror says Arsenal will receive £7.5m for Bendtner, who's failed to cut the mustard at the Emirates since arriving in London eight years ago from Boldklub Copenhagen. That money will then be used to snap up attacking midfield player Santiago Cazorla from Malaga.
The Mirror claims that the 27-year-old Spanish international has been on Arsene Wenger's radar for months, and with Malaga now apparently in financial trouble a £10m deal could be wrapped up this month. In addition, Arsenal will offload misfiring Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh, lazy Russian attacker Andrey Arshavin and overrated Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, reportedly on his way to Fulham.
Furthermore, Middle East rags Sport360 and Gulf News report that UAE champions Al Ain are tracking Park Chu-Young. The 27-year-old South Korean striker has been surplus to requirements ever since arriving at Arsenal last summer and now it seems he's about to make the move to AFC Champions League.
Finally The Sun says that Tottenham are in talks with Real Madrid about finding a solution to the Luka Modric conundrum. The Croatian midfielder is desperate to leave the Lane, and Spurs have given up trying to hang on to him. But they want £35m for Modric, which is too much for Madrid. But apparenrtly Real Madrid believe they will get their man for less than the asking price after they sold Rafael van der Vaart to Tottenham two years ago at a bargain price. ·