Manchester United have now emerged as favourites to land Robin van Persie who was dropped from Arsenal's pre-season tour by Arsene Wenger.
The Dutch striker wanted to go on the trip to China and south-east Asia and told his Arsenal team-mates he was keen to be part of the preparations for the new season, according to the Mirror.
But Van Persie was ordered to skip it during his meeting with Wenger who felt it was best for the striker to remain in England.
In his absence, Wenger has named Thomas Vermaelen as Arsenal’s captain during their pre-season tour.
Sir Alex Ferguson revealed on Friday his side tabled a bid to bring the Dutch striker, who has also been linked with Manchester City and Serie A outfit Juventus, to Old Trafford.
Although the sum is said to have fallen well short of Arsenal's valuation - believed to be around £30million - United revealing their interest could further unsettle Van Persie.
Ferguson has made it clear he will not be held to ransom by Arsenal.
The danger to United is that arch-rivals Manchester City have the spending power to top their offer while Juventus also remain interested.
City believe they have tabled the highest bid so far – £15million – but it is still well short of Arsenal’s valuation. Van Persie signed his current four-year deal in July 2009 after long negotiations with the board and manager Wenger.
Even then the Dutchman was wanted by United. At the time Van Persie confirmed in an interview in Holland that he was spoilt for choice with United, City, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Juventus knocking on his door. Jose Mourinho was Inter boss at the time.
And rumours new signing Lukas Podolski will be given the No 10 shirt normally worn by Van Persie have increased speculation the forward will soon be on his way.
But Wenger has not given up on keeping his star.
"I do not want to talk too much about that situation because I believe it is also important that every individual player is happy," Wenger said.
"What is even more important in pre-season is that we focus on the season to come.
"Robin was an exceptional leader last year, but we know how much we had to fight to come third because we missed out the start of the season.
"After seven games we had lost four and we have learned that for us it is vital for us to focus on the start of the season rather than on any transfers.
"If the transfers happen, they happen. As long as you are at the club you give your best for the club and that is the only pride you can have as a football player and as a manager.
"As long as you are somewhere you give your best every day for that club.
"If it changes, it changes. I am convinced that Robin is like that, he is completely focused every day on his job.
"He loves football, he loves the game and as long as he is here he will do that."