Manchester United's pursuit of Robin van Persie has taken a bizarre twist with an Italian agent claiming that the Arsenal forward has already agreed a deal with Juventus. Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that a bid has been made for the Dutchman, but Manchester City and Juventus have also registered their interest.
Fabio Parisi, who is based in Milan, told Italian TV: "I think Juventus have had a signed contract with Van Persie for some time locked away in a notary's desk."
"It is just my opinion, but I think there's an eight out of 10 chance the Dutchman will join the Bianconeri," he added.
"Juventus want to win and he is considered the ideal addition to achieve that. I don't think Edin Dzeko is the right player for the Bianconeri."
With Arsenal seemingly holding firm on their estimated £25 million asking price, the chances of Van Persie staying at the Emirates would seem to be increasing. Were Manchester United to offer such a sum for a soon-to-be 29-year-old, especially given his previous injury problems, it would be a massive departure from their transfer policy.
As well as Van Persie, United are also reported to have made a bid for Fulham's Moussa Dembele earlier this summer. Now the Belgium international's agent has claimed that Real Madrid have made an inquiry about signing the 25-year-old.
Signed as a striker by the Cottagers in 2010, Dembele excelled in a more withdrawn midfield role last season. Following his impressive performances several of the Premier League's big guns are said to have inquired about the possibility of a £10 million move.
Jan de Visser confirmed that Real Madrid are not the only club to approach his client.
"Real Madrid have contacted us and asked about the possibility of signing Moussa Dembele," De Visser told De Telegraaf. "They are not the first big club who have contacted us this summer for him."
United are also known to be trying to bring Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Moura to the club. The 19-year-old's club Sao Paulo have so far held firm and rejected a series of big money offers and are now trying to tie down their prized asset to a new long-term deal.
"It's possible we change his contract," said director of football Adalberto Baptist, according to Sky Sports. "He has four more years of contract. We may call him to extend, renegotiate his contract, maybe for 18 more months."
Lucas is currently in the Britain competing for Brazil at the Olympics, starting his first match of the competition in the Selecao's victory over New Zealand on Wednesday. His parents traveled over to watch their son in action in recent days, sparking suggestions that they would meet with Manchester United to discuss a potential move. But Baptista has dismissed that notion.
"His family went to England just to watch the Olympics, they had already told us they would," explained Baptista.
"They want to follow their son, like any parents would in a competition like that. There is no negotiation, no talks, anything.
With the interest in Lucas and Shinji Kagawa having already arrived this summer any lingering interest in Benfica's attacking midfielder Nicolas Gaitan would seem to be at an end. The Argentinian enjoyed an impressive season as the Lisbon giants reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season leading to speculation of a big money move. Reports earlier in the year even suggested that United had agreed terms on a deal to bring the 24-year-old to Old Trafford.
But Gaitan's agent, Jose Iribarren, has said that there are no current offers for his client.
"Gaitan is a Benfica player, and he is happy with them," he said, according to Sky Sports.
"I do not know of any offer on the table, I have only seen what was written in the newspapers.
"If an offer appears we would study it but the intention of Nico is to be with Benfica next season."