Manchester United and Manchester City may have to wait a year if they want to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.
The Arsenal striker’s future has been the subject of intense speculation as his current deal expires next summer, while Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson are reportedly keen to acquire his services.
However, a report in The Sun claims the Emirates Stadium manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis are willing to let him run down the remainder of the contract rather than let him go to Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium.
Samir Nasri posed Arsenal with a similar problem last year, but the north London side opted to sell to City rather than lose him for nothing this summer after he made it clear he would not sign an extension.
Van Persie’s situation differs in that he is far more valuable to the side and will be almost 30 when his contract runs out – Wenger has always been reluctant to offer long-term deals to players over that age.
Wenger and Gazidis are due to meet with the Holland international on Wednesday where they are expected to offer him a bumper new contract and discuss their vision for the Gunners’ future.