Van Persie must pick Arsenal or Man Utd, Moura deal close
Manchester City out of the race for RVP, but QPR are after Andrei Arshavin
MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini has admitted defeat in his attempt to sign Robin van Persie. The Dutchman, who turns 29 today, had been the Sky Blues' prime target at the start of the summer but according to The Sun the Arsenal striker won't be going to the Etihad. The paper quotes Mancini as saying: "Van Persie? No, I don't think he will come here" when asked about the likelihood of a move.
And that means Van Persie now seems to be faced with a simple choice, stick with Arsenal or move to Manchester United, who are now in pole position to sign the Dutchman according to the Mirror. It says that Van Persie's other suitors, Juventus, are "wobbling" in their pursuit of the player.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail claims that United will wrap up the signing of Brazilian star Lucas Moura in the next few days. The attacking midfielder, who turns 20 this week, has been playing for his country in the Olympics and according to the Mail Moura had a medical for United at the weekend and sat down with Alex Ferguson to discuss terms. It's believed that the Red Devils will hand over £30m to Sao Paulo for the services of Moura.
But Talksport is less sure that the Moura signing is done and dusted. They quote Sao Paulo sporting director Adalberto Baptista as saying: "We know many European clubs want Lucas but we work with two facts. The first is that Sao Paulo don't think this is the moment to lose Lucas… secondly, Lucas himself does not think this is the moment to leave Brazil."
Baptista also made it clear that any deal for the teenager would be far in excess of the £30m mentioned by the Mail. "Whenever a club comes to us [for Lucas], we ask them to pay the buyout fee that is €70 million [£55m]."
Back at Manchester City it seems Mancini waved the white flag over Van Persie because of City's inability to offload Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz. In addition the club look likely to hold on to Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian striker who has been unhappy at his lack of game time in the last 18 months.
Dzeko scored twice on Sunday in City's 4-0 defeat of Irish side Limerick, and Mancini said afterwards: "He is right to say it's no fun being on the bench but when you join a big club then competition is normal. It's pretty unlikely he will leave."
Back to the story of the summer and there is apparently still a possibility that Robin Van Persie could stick with the Gunners. The Mirror, the same paper that believes he is off to United, also finds space to report that he could elect to stay at the Emirates now that the Gunners have shown willing in the transfer market, as everyone waits for official confirmation that Santi Cazorla is arriving in London.
But although Arsenal are set to seal the £20m transfer of Cazorla this week, it appears that they might not have things their own way when it comes to Real Madrid playmaker Nuri Sahin.
The Gunners have been linked to the Turkish international for several weeks but according to the Metro Manchester United are hoping to "derail" Arsenal's bid. Apparently United boss Alex Ferguson is a fan of the creative midfielder and is poised to make Madrid an offer in the next fortnight.
The 23-year-old Sahin was reported to be about to join Arsenal on loan but the Metro says United will take the Turk on a permanent basis. Sahin is said to be "excited" by United's interest but it remains to be seen whether Real will want to sell him. The Metro believes that if they do finally manage to sign Luka Modric from Tottenham then it's likely they'll agree to United's proposition. If, however, Modric remains with the Lilywhites Arsenal will be Sahin's destination.
Elsewhere QPR have emerged as shock contenders to sign Arsenal's Russian winger Andrei Arshavin. Caught Offside says that Rangers are now vying with Fulham for the services of the erratic 31-year-old who is surplus to requirements at the Emirates. Arshavin had been tipped to sign for Zenit St Petersburg this summer but the deal hit difficulties and he is now said to want to remain in London.
The Daily Star says that Ashley Cole's Chelsea future "continues to be in doubt" after the England left-back allegedly demanded a massive wage hike. According to the Star, Cole believes he's worth £200,000-a-week and negotiations over a new contract have hit the buffers as a result.
Real Madrid are apparently "monitoring the situation" with Jose Mourinho keen to bring the man they call 'Cashley' to Spain should Chelsea decide to jettison the England defender. However the Star's claims drew a sharp response from Cole, who took to Twitter to rubbish the rumours: "Contract talks have not stalled just started, and 200k are you for real, I'd never ask for that."