Manchester United believe they have won the £20 million race to sign Robin van Persie, the Daily Mirror reported in an exclusive.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Dutch hitman will snub interest from Premier League champions City and Italian champions Juventus to link up with Wayne Rooney
Ferguson wants to form a deadly strike-force with Rooney to wrest back the title from City.
Van Persie scored 30 Premier League goals last term to help the Gunners to third in the table, while Rooney struck 27 times for United.
Selling his skipper to Sir Alex would be a huge blow to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger but But Arsenal have little option but to sell.
After an exodus of stars like Patrick Vieira, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri to City, Arsenal would not mind giving in to United unless they want to lose van Persie for nothing next summer.
Meanwhile, reports in Italy, claimed that United have had a bid for the Dutchman rejected by Arsenal.
But United will intensify efforts to prise Van Persie from Arsenal, after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed he is willing to let Dimitar Berbatov go, according to the Daily Mail.
Wantaway Berbatov set up Federico Macheda for the only goal of United’s opening South Africa tour game against Amazulu.
City are committed to off-loading players before sanctioning more big spending and, despite the champions’ vastly superior financial clout, van Persie is believed to have been most tempted by a move to Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old Holland star was back in training this week after Euro 2012 and with a number of bids already made, Arsenal are keen to decide on his future before leaving on a Far East tour this weekend.