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Manchester United 'Have Won The Race' To Sign Robin Van Persie (TRANSFER TALK AND RUMOURS)

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Manchester United seem to be linked with every £20m player who isn't a midfielder, and today the Mirror trumpet the Reds, who have "won the race" to sign Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.

United are known admirers of the Dutchman (who isn't?) but the feasibility seems suspect. Darren Lewis, who penned the article, rarely writes United content and is not on the club's pre-season tour - currently in South Africa.

There's also United's aversion to paying for players 28-and-or-over since the £30.75m signing of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008. From Antonio Valencia to Nick Powell, United have brought in teenagers-to-mid-twenty-somethings since the Bulgarian's arrival, and experience is not in short supply amongst Ferguson's squad.

Furthermore, buying Shinji Kagawa is an indicator United will alter their formation to a more sophisticated look as Ferguson belatedly catches up with the modern football setup. The Japanese will likely play as a trequartista behind Wayne Rooney, so unless Ferguson plans to cash in on, despite a patchy performance level last season, the team's best player, courting Van Persie seems illogical. Then there's United's £423.3m debt...

Van Persie, 28, is also an Arsenal player. And Arsenal, surreally, still seem to consider there to be the tetchy rivalry they had with United when both clubs were captained by Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira. Arsène Wenger was last summer insistent Samir Nasri would not be sold to Old Trafford (despite the Frenchman initially agreeing to the move before reneging on it), yet the Gunners have had no qualms in selling Manchester City four players over the last three years.

Before Emmanuel Adebayor became the first in 2009, City had finished 10th to Arsenal's fourth in the Premier League. Fast-forward three years and they have usurped the north Londoners with ease, while Gaël Clichy and Nasri were integral in City winning the Premier League last season.

Elsewhere, and The Sun report the egregious Florent Malouda has been told he can leave Chelsea, which will please Blues fans eager to see the deadwood chopped away at. Don't forget Paulo Ferreira.

The Stamford Bridge club have also opened talks with Cesar Azpilicueta, claim the Mail.

Emmanuel Adebayor's protracted move to Tottenham Hotspur has been held up because of, surprise surprise, wage demands, suggest the Mail again.

adebayor
Gimme some money...

Spurs are in dire need of a striker, with the avaricious Jermain Defoe their only recognised option up front, which is cause for concern as the season edges closer.

Ibrahim Afellay endured a torrid European Championship with Holland, but the Dutch playmaker had been injured for the majority of the season with Barcelona and was rashly thrown in to the deep end by Bert van Marwijk. That should not mask his quality though, which is why Arsenal and Liverpool are supposedly monitoring him, after new Barça coach Tito Vilanova informed Afellay he would have a peripheral role at Camp Nou, write the Bleacher Report.

AFELLAY...

Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is about to open talks about a new contract at Arsenal, suggest the Metro.

Fulham may move for free agent Nigel Reo-Coker, 28, after he was released by Bolton Wanderers. That via the Mirror again.

Up north, and Liverpool's unwanted striker Andy Carroll wants his future resolved in the next week as Newcastle United continue to exploit the possibility of re-signing the 23-year-old.

And the Anfield club have also been told they must stump up £10m if they want to sign Fulham's American forward Clint Dempsey, say the Star.