Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confided to close footballing friends that he is close to signing 20 million pound worth Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie.
Ferguson is confident the Arsenal captain will snub interest from neighbours City and Italian champs Juventus and link up with Wayne Rooney to form a formidable strike force in a rebuilt side he hopes can win back the title.
Van Persie scored 30 Premier League goals last term to help the Gunners to third in the table, while Rooney struck 27 times for United.
Selling his skipper to Ferguson would be a huge blow to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
It would come 12 months after a summer that saw City buy Samir Nasri and Barcelona purchase then-captain Cesc Fabregas.
But Arsenal have little option but to sell unless they want to lose van Persie for nothing next summer, as the forward has announced he will not sign a new deal.
The Holland star was back in training this week after Euro 2012 and with a number of bids already made, Arsenal are keen to decide on his future before leaving on a Far East tour this weekend.