Alex Ferguson has revealed Manchester United have hit a brick wall in their attempts to sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal.
Ferguson revealed on United’s recent tour of South Africa they had made a bid for last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner.
The interest shown by the Red Devils seems to have fended off competition from Manchester City and Juventus but Arsene Wenger has never sold a player to United and doesn’t seem keen on starting to now.
Ferguson’s comments come following last night’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Barcelona in Gothenburg.
“We have made a bid and they’ve been trying to negotiate with other clubs,” said Ferguson.
“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.”
There had been rumours circulating prior to last night’s game that Van Persie was heading to Manchester for a medical.
However, it seems they were wide of the mark.
“I can’t give you any more information,” said Ferguson.
“We just have to persevere.
“We are trying our best and hopefully it will come our way but there’s no progress at this moment in time.”
It was the second transfer blow of the day for United, who discovered prior to kick-off that Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura had joined cash-rich Paris St-Germain.
Ferguson was keen to sign the teenage midfielder from Sao Paulo and remained in Manchester at the weekend when his team headed to Norway “to do some business”.
The clearest indication Moura was looking elsewhere was that Ferguson jetted out of Manchester prior to Brazil’s Olympic semi-final win over South Korea on Monday night , when the midfielder was an unused substitute.
It seems United simply could not compete with PSG’s Qatari-backed spending power and that was confirmed last night when he put pen to paper on a four and a half year deal at the French club.
Following the huge purchases of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Ferguson stated the world had ’gone mad’.
“I find it quite amazing that a club can pay €45million for a 19-year-old boy,” said the Scot.
“To tell everyone that PSG are here they’ve signed Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They must have spent about £150m in the last month.
“The only deterrent to that is UEFA.
“In the conditions of European football, you don’t qualify for Europe by winning the league or coming second – you only get in by invitation.
“That’s where, hopefully, UEFA can have some power.
“When somebody’s paying £45m for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad.”
Moura, it seems will remain with the Brazilian side until January before linking up with Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
A statement on PSG’s website read: “Paris St Germain and Sao Paulo FC have reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of Lucas Rodriguez Moura Da Silva.
“The player and Paris St Germain have signed a contract from January 2013 to June 2017. Lucas will join Paris St Germain and his new team-mates in January 2013 for the second half of the 2012-13 season.
And Swedish star Ibrahimovic said, “I will be happy to have him alongside me at PSG. He will play a big role, he is skilful in front of goal.”
Speaking before the move was completed, Moura expressed his enthusiasm at joining Ancelotti’s “project”. “I spoke to Thiago Silva and (sporting director) Leonardo and they spoke very well,” he said.
“I know they are building a wonderful project at this club, with a fantastic structure and major players. That is what they said. No doubt it would be better if I can help Sao Paulo a little bit more, though. I said before I want to win a title before leaving and qualify for the Copa Libertadores.”
Meanwhile, Ashley Young revisited his Euro 2012 penalty nightmare as Manchester United lost their high-profile pre-season friendly with Barcelona in Gothenburg.
After a goalless 90 minutes, the contest was decided by what was supposed to be a three player shoot-out. But it didn’t get that far as Nani and Young both failed to convert their efforts, allowing former Red Devil Gerard Pique to seal victory for the Catalan giants after Xavi had also scored.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid confirmed the departure of midfielder Sergio Canales to Valencia in a permanent deal. The 21-year-old spent last season at the Mestalla on a temporary basis after a two-year loan deal was agreed. The deal contained a double clause which allowed them to sign Canales permanently for a fee which was reported at the time to be €12m, and granted Real a repurchase option reported at €18m.
Los Che have now exercised their right to buy Canales, with the player reportedly signing a five-year contract.
A statement on Real’s website confirmed: “Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF have concluded the agreement for the transfer of Sergio Canales. Real Madrid CF reserves a right of repurchase.”
Meanwhile, Stoke boss Tony Pulis received a triple boost on a frenetic day for the club. Significantly, fears surrounding defender Robert Huth have eased as he is expected to be sidelined for just two weeks after being diagnosed with viral meningitis, the milder form of the illness.
On the transfer front, Pulis signed Michael Kightly from Wolves for an undisclosed fee, whilst Geoff Cameron was granted a work permit to finalise his move from Houston Dynamos.
For Huth and Pulis, the news comes as a major relief after the 27-year-old centre-back was rushed into hospital on Monday with a mystery virus after reporting for training. Following a series of tests, Huth remains under observation in hospital for the next few days to complete a course of antibiotics. Confirming the news, the official club website said: “He is progressing well in his recovery.”
Meanwhile, Rangers manager Ally McCoist has praised chief executive Charles Green and believes the club is now at its most stable point in some months.
The Irn-Bru Third Division club won their first home game of the season 4-0 against East Fife on Monday and McCoist has praised the commitment of Green and the board.
He said: “I think we’re now at the stage where the club has far more stability than we’ve had in recent months.
“The new owners came in, they were the only party that came up and put their money where their mouths were. They stood tall and bought the club so in that respect they deserve great support from us and from the fans. I’ve watched Charles and I don’t have any doubt he’s watched me in recent weeks.”
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