Manchester United could be moving firmly into the position of frontrunners to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, according to various reports.
Along with Manchester City and Juventus, United have already lodged a bid for the forward this summer. However, no offer has yet come close to Arsenal's asking price, despite Van Persie stating that he has no intention of extending his contract, which has just a year left to run.
While Juventus have intimated that they may not be prepared to match Arsenal's valuation of between £20 million and £25 million, City have also played down their chances.
Asked about their interest in the Dutchman, City boss Roberto Mancini said: "Van Persie? No, I don't think he will come here," according to ESPN.
Further talking up United's prospects, the Daily Mail has claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson missed his side's friendly with Valarenga on Sunday in order to try and push through a deal for Van Persie.
Until a deal is done, though, doubts will remain about United's willingness to oppose their recruitment policy and commit such large sums for a 29-year-old.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Ferguson's reasons for missing the squad's trip to Norway also involved his desire to complete a deal for Brazilian Lucas Moura. The report claims that the 19-year-old was due in Manchester for a medical ahead of finalizing his transfer from Sao Paulo. Lucas is currently in Britain with the Brazilian Olympic squad.
The Independent also states that United are poised to complete a £30 million deal for the pacey attacking midfielder. ESPN make a similar claim, publishing a quote from an unnamed source, who states: "Sir Alex is keen to push through the signing of the young winger and United will have to pay £30 million to get him."
United have already had at least one bid rejected for Lucas, but always appeared stronger challengers for his signature that fellow-suitors Inter Milan.
According to the People, United's summer transfer activity may not end there. The paper reports that United could be set to take advantage of Malaga's uncertain financial situation by making a move for highly-rated attacking midfielder, Isco.
With the club in disagreements with their players over unpaid wages and takeover talks ongoing, Arsenal have already moved to take advantage with their signing of Santi Cazorla expected to be finalized imminently. Isco is another of Malaga's prized assets.
Given the signing of Shinji Kagawa and with a deal for Lucas said to be close, it would be a surprise, though, if Ferguson were to make a serious push for the 20-year-old.
There is further speculation surrounding Manchester United, with the Daily Mail linking Robert Lewandowski with a move to Old Trafford.
According to the report, the Polish striker could be set to join United next summer when Lewandowski will just have a year remaining on his contract at Borussia Dortmund.
A fee of £12 million is mentioned for the 23-year-old, who is also interesting Chelsea. Lewandowski was linked to United earlier in the summer, at the same time that Ferguson was pursuing his former Dortmund teammate Kagawa.