He may not have been in Manchester to wrap-up a deal on Wednesday as had been suggested, but Manchester United are very much continuing their pursuit of Robin van Persie.

Following their penalty defeat to Barcelona in a preseason friendly in Sweden last night, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that the club were encountering strong resistance from Arsenal in their efforts to sign the Dutch forward.

We have made a bid and they've been trying to negotiate with other clubs, he claimed.

I don't have a gut feeling on it at the moment, I must admit.

We're not getting any breakthrough with Arsenal. It's difficult to say why they're operating this way.

I don't know what their thoughts are, because they're not giving anything away.

Ferguson's comments would suggest that he feels Arsenal are actively trying to ensure that Van Perise moves to fellow-suitors Juventus, rather than staying in the Premier League with United. Indeed, according to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal will demand £25 million from United compared to the £20 million they will seek from overseas bidders.

CNN's Italian correspondent and Gazzetta dello Sport contributor Tancredi Palmeri has revealed, however, that Van Persie has told Juventus that he is in advanced negotiations with United.

At least with the player himself, those negotiations look to be going well. The Daily Telegraph reports that United are willing to match the £220,000 a week wages the club's top earner Wayne Rooney takes home.

With United set to increase their offer to Arsenal before the end of the week, according to the Mirror, a conclusion to the saga may be imminent.

United have missed out on another of their summer targets, though, with Paris Saint-Germain announcing that they have signed Brazilian Lucas Moura. Ferguson had been keen to add the pacey attacking midfielder from Sao Paulo and for a long time the club appeared front-runners for his signature.

However, Sao Paulo and Lucas had their head turned by a late, stunning offer from PSG of €45 million, while also allowing the player to remain in Brazil until January.

I find it quite amazing that a club can pay €45m for a 19-year-old boy, Ferguson said of the move, according to the Press Association.

While United have been criticized in recent season after missing out on several coveted players due to their unwillingness to match the lucrative offers of their rivals-Eden Hazard and Samir Nasri to name but two-it is hard to make a case for spending such a huge sum on an unproven 19-year-old.

With Lucas now off the table, United could instead now spend big on strengthening their central midfielder. Benfica's Axel Witsel has long been discussed as a player with the potential to add some much-needed dynamism to that key area of the United side.

Real Madrid were thought to be closing in on a deal for the Belgium international, but Portuguese publication O Jogo claims that United have made an offer of €30 million (£24m) and are even willing to match Witsel's release clause of €40 million (£31.5m).

The story also suggests that Real's interest in the 23-year-old is dependent on the club failing in their attempts to sign Luka Modric from Tottenham.

Finally, United have also been mentioned as a possible destination for Swansea winger Scott Sinclair. The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, but the Daily Mail also claims that United, along with Tottenham and Liverpool, are monitoring his situation.

According to the Report, Sinclair is likely to leave Swansea this summer for around £8 million.