Football Football

Fergie: Arsenal playing hard ball on Van Persie


LONDON, England, August 9- Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Arsenal are refusing to budge on a £15million Manchester United bid for Robin van Persie as he lost out on another transfer target, teenage Brazilian Lucas Moura, to big-spending Paris St Germain.

United drew 0-0 against Barcelona in normal time, with Wayne Rooney missing from 12 yards, before losing an odd three-kick shootout.

Nani and Ashley Young missed for United while Xavi and Gerard Pique scored to give the Spanish side victory.

But it was events off the field that dominated the evening as Moura moved to France for 45m euros and Ferguson admitted for the first time that United are in the hunt for Van Persie.

Asked if there was any progress with the Dutch international, Ferguson said: “We have made a bid but Arsenal are trying to negotiate with other clubs. We just have to persevere and hope things come our way.

“We have made a bid and they’ve been trying to negotiate with other clubs. We are trying our best but there is no progress at this moment in time. It’s difficult to say why they are operating in this way or know what their thoughts are because they are not giving anything away. We are not getting any breakthrough.

“‘I can’t give you any more information. 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.”

Van Persie’s other main suitors, Juventus and Manchester City, feel that United are ahead of them in the race to sign the 29-year-old.

However, it appears Arsenal are doing all they can not to sell their star player to a rival.

Disappointment after losing Moura to PSG

Meanwhile, Ferguson will be privately disappointed to have lost out on 19-year-old Moura and called on UEFA to clamp down on the mammoth summer spending of PSG.

Fuelled by money from Qatar owners, the French club do not appear to be concerned by the Financial Fair Play rules introduced by UEFA president Michel Platini.

Ferguson said: “I find it amazing that a club can pay 45m euros for a 19-year-old boy. I think they have spent over 150m Euros in the last couple of months or so.They are trying to tell people they are here.

“The only deterrent to that is UEFA. I am sure Michel Platini will be concerned. It doesn’t matter which country you are from, I’m sure he will be concerned by what’s happened recently.”

On the friendly match, Ferguson added: It was a good game. It’s all about preparation at this time.’

– By Daily Mail reporter IAN LADYMAN