This news comes just hours after RVP decided not to join his team-mates on the Gunners’ pre-season tour. In addition, Italian giants Juventus, who finished atop the Serie A table last term, are also reportedly interested in signing the Dutchman.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that the Red Devils had made an official approach for RVP after landing in Cape Town during the club’s summer tour.
“Obviously Arsenal have given out the fact that we’ve made a bid for him,” Fergie told MUTV. ”We try to keep business as close as possible to us until the moment we conclude a deal. There’s no point talking about something that might not happen.
“There are other clubs interested in the player. We’ve shown an interest and that’s where we’re at at the moment.”
Despite the Manchester clubs’ bids for RVP, Arsenal are thought to be holding out for a transfer fee of £20 million, not £15 million, for their skipper.
With that said, it looks very likely that the Gunners will lose their ‘Captain Fantastic’ for the second consecutive summer, having lost Cesc Fàbregas to FC Barcelona in August 2011.
Van Persie registered 36 goals and nine assists in 47 matches in all competitions for the Gunners last season.
Wenger eyeing Llorente as possible replacement for RVP
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly keen on bringing Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente to north London, but only if the club decides to sell Robin van Persie.
Llorente has put together three straight 20-goal seasons for Bilbao, including a career-best 29 goals in 2011-12.
In fact, since landing a place in Los Leones starting XI, the Spaniard has not tallied fewer than 11 goals in La Liga. In case you’re counting, that’s five consecutive La Liga campaigns with 10+ goals.
The 27-year-old forward has a £28 million release clause included in his current contract.
This could be an issue if the Gunners’ cannot get £20 million or more for Van Persie, or if Bilbao are unwilling to negotiate a deal below Llorente’s massive buy-out clause.
The Spain international netted 29 goals and four assists in all competitions for Bilbao last season, including two goals in two matches — both won by Bilbao — against Premier League giants Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League.