Robin van Persie could fly in to Manchester for talks with Sir Alex Ferguson over a transfer from Arsenal as early as tonight, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The United boss has reportedly jumped into pole position to sign the Dutchman, who is currently with the Gunners at their training camp in Germany.

But reports suggest Van Persie could fly back to England this evening to hold talks with Ferguson. The three-way tussle to sign the Arsenal captain looks to have narrowed, with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini all but conceding defeat and Juventus reportedly unwilling to match the striker's wage demands.

The 29-year-old frontman is set to take part in Arsenal's friendly against FC Cologne on Sunday, but reports indicate the Dutchman will probably have moved on by then, with United thought to want a deal agreed as soon as possible before the new season.

Van Persie had looked set to complete a dramatic u-turn and stay at the Emirates Stadium after he traveled with the Gunners to Germany.

But with Mancini admitting City were "unlikely" to sign the forward, Ferguson has jumped at the opportunity to seal a deal, believed to be around the £20m mark.

The prospect of a Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie strike partnership is sure to get United fans excited, and would send a clear message to their title rivals that the Old Trafford side are determined to recover the Premier League title lost to their City rivals last season.

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