Robin van Persie would rather move to Manchester United than rivals Manchester City, the Dutchman has told Arsenal, according to the Independent. However, the Red Devils are behind Juventus in the want-away forward's personal pecking order.
The claims come as something of a surprise given that City would be able to offer a greater financial package than either United or Juventus. The Independents states, though, that Van Persie's next destination will not be decided based on the money that the forward can earn.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is understandably reluctant to lose another player to City's riches, but would also rather Van Persie wasn't turning out for a direct rival like United. There will be doubts about Juventus' willingness to offer the reported asking price of between £20 million and £25 million for Van Persie, which could see United come into the running. Although, given the player's age-he turns 29 next month-and his injury record, it would also represent a surprise should United commit such a sizable fee.
United's finances could be further stretched with reports that the club will have to up their offer for Lucas Moura. Brazilian publication Globo has claimed that Sao Paulo have now rejected two bids for their attacking midfielder-the first of €33 million (£26m) and a latest offer of €38 million (£29.9m).
The move is complicated because Sao Paulo would only receive 80 percent of any fee with the rest going to Lucas. It was thought that United's increased offer would be enough to secure the Brazilian international, but it would appear that his club are desperate to hold onto their prized asset for the time being.
United's main rivals for the 19-year-old's signature, Inter, may have dropped out of the running, however, with president Massimo Moratti hinting that he is unwilling to get into a bidding war, according to Sky Sports. Given the club are attempting to reduce their wage bill having failed to qualify for the Champions League, it would be a major surprise should they be able or willing to match United's offer.
The interest in Robin van Persie would suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledges a possible need to strengthen his squad's attacking options. And the Red Devils have received encouragement should they decide to pursue their reported interest in Robert Lewandowski. The Borussia Dortmund striker has indicated that he would relish a move to the Premier League.
This [the Premier League] is a league in which I would like to play and I hope to manage that at some point, he said, according to Sky Sports.
Despite the 23-year-old Poland international having just two years remaining on his contract, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has said he is confident that Lewandowski will remain with the German double winners.
The reality is Borussia Dortmund, this is just a dream, Zorc said.
There is nothing wrong with someone dreaming of the Premier League. We are experts in handling this.
United have also reportedly registered their interest in young Real Madrid striker Jese Rodriguez. The Canary Islander recently shone for Spain at the Uefa Under-19 Championship where he finished as top scorer with five goals, including the only goal in the final against Greece.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Real were quick to fight off United's pursuit by inserting a €40 million buy-out clause in his contract.