Manchester United could be on the verge of their biggest signing in several seasons with the capture of Robin van Persie from long-term Premier League rivals Arsenal. Last season's PFA Player of the year could arrive in Manchester as early as Wednesday night to wrap-up a deal, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The report claims that United and Arsenal have reached a compromise over a £20 million fee.
While Manchester United have already had a bid rejected for the Dutchman this season, the signing and the swiftness of its completion would still come as something of a surprise.
Both Juventus and Manchester City have also made an approach for Van Persie since he revealed that he had no intention of extending his contract, which has just a year to run.
But with City boss Roberto Mancini playing down his side's chances earlier this week and Juventus thought to be hesitant about the finances involved in any deal, United may have moved to the front of the queue.
Yet, it would still be a massive signal of intent and departure from their transfer strategy of recent seasons were United to complete a deal. United's opening bid for Van Persie fell a long way short of Arsenal's valuation and doubts were rightly expressed about their ability or willingness to pay a lofty transfer fee as well as a massive salary package for a 29-year-old with just a year remaining on his contract. Van Persie has also been severely blighted by injuries in the past.
While there is optimism about luring Van Persie the opposite is true of United's other big transfer target Lucas Moura.
United have had at least one massive bid rejected already for the Brazil international by his club Sao Paulo this summer, but were still considered in pole position to sign the 19-year-old. Reports in the last 24 hours, though, have strongly suggested that big-spending Paris Saint-Germain have made a late move to sign the highly-rated attacking midfielder and could be set to get their man.
While the €45 million (£36m) the French club are said to have offered has been hugely persuading to Sao Paulo, their bid has also curried favor as it involves Lucas remaining in Brazil until January 2013.
Lucas has also been put off of a move to United after being told by his fellow-Brazilian and former Manchester City forward Robinho that Manchester is a boring place to live, according to ESPN.
Lucas confirmed he was in talks with PSG.
"I cannot talk about it, I'm focused on the Brazil team," he told Globo Esporte. "I can speak about it after the Olympics. But talks are underway, although they are not done yet."
United could also yet add to their central midfield options this summer. Spanish publication Marca claims that the club is interested in signing Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin. The Turkish 23-year-old has been strongly linked with a season-long loan deal to Arsenal in recent days, while Liverpool and Tottenham are also thought to be interested in a similar deal. According to Marca, however, United are eager for a permanent deal.
One position Ferguson has admitted he is looking to strengthen is at left-back. Fabio's season-long loan to Queens Park Rangers has left Patrice Evra as United's only established payer in that position.
United could be prompted into actions by the words of the agent and brother of Lyon's Aly Cissokho. The France international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past and could now be set for a move away, with the Premier League high on his list of potential destinations.
"The preference would be to depart," said Mamadou Cissokho, according to Sky Sports.
"Aly wishes to discover a new challenge. If he has to stay he will and will do his job, but if there is an opportunity he will seize it.
"The priority is England or Italy. However, there have been no concrete offers as yet, even though Lyon are keen to sell."