The Robin van Persie transfer saga took another turn today when Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed reports that Manchester United had had a transfer bid for Robin van Persie rejected. The fee was rumoured to be well below the price of £20m that Arsenal have set for van Persie, and, as such, was rejected out of hand by Arsenal.
Furthermore, it is also rumoured that van Persie has refused to go on tour with the club to Asia, all but confirming that he will leave the club this summer. Thus far, though, none of the reportedly interested clubs (Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus) have tabled bids close to the price that Arsenal want.
Now, it seems, the saga will continue much like it did with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last year. With neither Ivan Gazidis nor Arsene Wenger in England, it's hard to envision Arsenal selling van Persie, but with van Persie in England and not in Asia, it's extremely difficult to envision him staying at the club.
So, instead of a quick conclusion to the van Persie situation, it will, instead draw out. Arsenal have known that van Persie has wanted to go this summer since he released the Statement on his website, and it was believed that they wanted a quick resolution, with van Persie either leaving by the time this Asia tour started or staying. It's imperative to future transfer dealings that van Persie does leave quickly; Arsenal have a certain amount of money they can spend each summer without getting the money back through player sales, and they spent that money on Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. There could still be money to sign a defensive midfielder like Yann M'Vila or Etienne Capoue, but Arsenal will not replace van Persie until they get the money from his transfer.
The same situation happened last year, which saw Arsenal lose out Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla because they couldn't spend the money on those players until Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas were sold. Arsenal have again been linked with Cazorla, a move that would make sense given the need to replace Yossi Benayoun and the creative side of van Persie's game. But until van Persie is sold, Arsenal cannot buy an attacking player like Santi Cazorla.
Because of that, it is important to sell van Persie quickly. While his statement lessened his transfer value, the interest of Manchester United could prompt the other two clubs, City and Juventus, to bid for him. Thus, United's bid could turn out to be a good thing. They likely stand no chance of being able to buy him, what with their own financial issues, and obvious need for a central midfielder, but Alex Ferguson could've inadvertently done a big favour to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
Here's the reported figures from each club's bid:
While I'd treat the exact numbers with some caution, it does confirm earlier reports of a United bid not being enough to tempt Arsenal. One expects these numbers are a direct consequence of van Persie's statement, but, also, perhaps Ferguson never expected to get van Persie but instead wanted to make Manchester City react. We'll see how this plays out.