Robin van Persie is closing in on a sensational £20 million-plus move after Arsenal officially began negotiations with Manchester United.
The two clubs spent Tuesday night talking about a deal which could now be pushed through before the Premier League kick-off this weekend, according to the Daily Mirror.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is likely to settle on a fee of just above £20m as United prepare to increase their offer for the Dutch forward, who is currently on international duty but won't be in the starting line-up when Holland play Belgium on Wednesday night.
The clubs are very close to agreement on a fee, it added.
It was reported in the British press on Monday that United were poised to complete a dramatic swoop for Van Persie before the Premier League opener this weekend.
Arsenal are ready to start serious talks with United boss Alex Ferguson hoping to seal a £22 million move, The Sun reported in an exclusive.
Arsenal were demanding £25m for the Dutch striker, who has just one year left on his contract. But United and Italian giants Juventus have yet to improve offers of £15m.
Ferguson has held private discussions with Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are expecting an improved offer.
Van Persie, 29, was jeered by his own fans in Sunday’s win over Cologne in Germany and is now desperate for a move to be completed.
A shock move to Old Trafford now seems the only viable option for Van Persie in his attempts to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer after Manchester City and Juventus both stalled on their interest.
The Gunners are willing to listen to offers starting at £20m despite Wenger insisting that the Dutch international would not be allowed to leave for anything under £30m.
RVP scored 37 goals in all competitions last term, 30 of them in the Premier League.