Van Persie could sign for Man Utd tonight, Moura to join PSG
United set to buy Arsenal striker, as Gunners chase Korean star Ki Sung-yeung
COULD the big summer transfer story be about to reach a conclusion? If you believe the Manchester Evening News then the answer is a definite 'yes' as the paper claims that Robin van Persie could leave Arsenal's pre-season training camp in Germany and fly back to England to sign for Manchester United this evening.
The paper says that United and Arsenal will settle on a fee of around £20m for the striker, more than what United had previously offered but less than the £25m Arsenal had hoped for.
The MEN offers little in the way of evidence for its bold prediction but does say that the signing will be a statement of intent by Alex Ferguson, and will show that the debts forced onto the club by the Glazer family have not diminished his ability to attract big players.
However, there could be another reason why United have suddenly found the cash to buy Van Persie. Apparently the £30m they had set aside to buy Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Moura will go unused as the teenager is set to join Paris St Germain, according to The Sun.
Talking from the Brazilian Olympic football team's base in London the 19-year-old Sao Paolo player trotted out the kind of platitudes that suggest he is indeed about to join moneybags PSG. "I know they are building a wonderful project at this club, with a fantastic structure and major players," he said.
However, there is still the chance something could derail the deal as Moura made it clear that the move would not take place until January.
Arsenal have made it a hat-trick of summer transfer deals with the capture of Spanish international Santi Cazorla on a long-term contract to go with their signings of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski. Though Arsenal wouldn't reveal the exact fee they paid Malaga in announcing the signing on their official website, it's believed they forked out £17m for Cazorla's services.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder, who has played 45 times for his country and was a member of the Spanish squad that won the recent European Championships, told the Arsenal website: "I'm so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League. I will do my best to help Arsenal challenge for trophies and make all the supporters happy."
He also revealed that former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has done his bit in facilitating the move. "He said this was a big club and that I was going to be very happy here, he said I would adapt easily," explained Cazorla of the player who spent eight years at the Emirates before signing for Barcelona last summer.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail says that Arsenal are in the mix for the man they call the "Korean Gerrard". Whether that means Ki Sung-yeung mumbles his way through interviews using words of no more than two syllables or knows how to pull the strings in midfield like Liverpool's Steven isn't clear.
Either way, the South Korea midfielder has apparently been checked out by Arsenal scouts while playing for his country in the Olympics and the Mail says the Gunners aren't put off by the 23-year-old's £9m price tag. Currently with Celtic, Sung-yeung – who scored the crucial penalty for South Korea in their quarter-final defeat of Team GB on Saturday – is also wanted by QPR. But it's believed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will make the first move on the recommendation of chief scout Steve Rowley.
The Metro claims that Chelsea have been offered Alvaro Pereira at a knockdown price of £15m. Apparently Portuguese champions Porto are a bit strapped for cash and, knowing the Blues are in search of a solid defender, made them an offer they might not be able to refuse.
The 26-year-old first came to the attention of Chelsea last year but the European champs weren't prepared to pay Porto's asking price of £30m. Nonetheless they've continued to covet the Uruguayan wing-back, and their devotion seems to have paid off.
Porto are desperate to hang on to striker Hulk and would use the money made from offloading Pereira to offer the Brazilian frontman a new deal. "We think everything will go well and that he can leave the club," said Pereira's agent Flavio Perchmen, adding: "I spoke with Alvaro last week and he is calm. We are just waiting."
The drawn-out saga surrounding the future of Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov could be approaching its denouement with Italian rag Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that the Bulgarian is on the brink of signing for Zenit St Petersburg.
The 31-year-old frontman has been more unsettled than a French cyclist in recent months and United boss Alex Ferguson has made no secret of the fact he believes it would be in Berbatov's best interests to move on.
Several top clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Galatasaray, have been linked with him but Gazzetta dello Sport claims Zenit are in advanced negotiations with Berbatov's representatives and an announcement is imminent. ·