Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger ordered Robin van Persie not to attend the club’s pre-season tour to the Far East, according to the Daily Mirror.

Van Persie was reportedly eager to continue preparations for the new season as normal, and made it clear to the Gunners hierarchy that he was willing to travel to China and south-East Asia to take part in Arsenal's friendly matches.

But Wenger is believed to have insisted van Persie stays in England, as both the club and the player look to resolve his long-term future. Manchester United have already confirmed they have made a bid for the wantaway captain, and Juventus and Premier League champions Manchester City are also have thought to have tested the water with opening offers for the Dutchman.

Van Persie revealed last month that he will not be signing a new Arsenal contract. With one year left on his current deal, he could leave for nothing at the end of next season, or Arsenal could offload him this transfer window and recoup a fee for the Dutch striker.

The Daily Mirror quotes an Arsenal squad member saying: “Everyone was surprised that the boss decided on Thursday that Robin was not allowed to come with us.”

Manchester United are reportedly favourites to sign the former-Feyernood striker, but Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to be willing to match Arsenal’s £30m valuation. So far, bids around the £15m mark are believed to have been tabled – well short of the fee Arsenal are looking for.

In the absence of van Persie, Gunners centre-back Thomas Vermaelen has been made captain for the pre-season tour.

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