Manchester United should target £32m star if Van Persie leaves

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Could Van Persie make a return to Arsenal?
Could Van Persie make a return to Arsenal? .

Something gives me a sneaking suspicion that Manchester United are set for one of - if not the - biggest and busiest transfer window in recent memory this summer.

With the Red Devils struggling so badly since David Moyes replaced compatriot Sir Alex Ferguson in the dugout during the summer, it seems almost inevitable that the former Everton boss will oversee a significant overhaul of his ailing squad at the earliest opportunity, regardless of how they finish the season.

One potential departure that might not have been previously expected is that of one Robin van Persie.

The Dutch striker, who was so instrumental in guiding the club do their 20th top-flight title in Ferguson's last season at the club, only joined Manchester United last summer but recent reports have suggested he could be on his way back to Arsenal in the future.

Now, while such rumours may appear to be somewhat farfetched at first, if it is indeed true that Arsene Wenger has met with Van Persie's agent, then things suddenly become far more realistic.

Despite your thoughts on just whether or not Moyes would be keen to sanction such a seemingly baffling move, you have to imagine that he is preparing a hitlist of potential replacements should Van Persie's departure come to fruition.

Personally, I feel that Brazilian-born frontman Diego Costa should feature at the very top of that list.

The Atletico Madrid striker, who is in his second stint at the Vicente Calderon, is a formidably physical specimen who has been nothing sort of sensational for Los Rojiblancos so far this season.

With another goal in today's La Liga victory over Real Valladolid, his former club, Costa has now scored a truly impressive 21 goals in 24 domestic appearances as Diego Simeone's men have made a superb attempt to challenge the established might of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

While Costa admittedly has no prior experience of the Premier League, his stocky build and impressive strength and quality in possession should ensure that he is able to adapt without any real issue.

At 25, Costa - who has a release clause of £32 million in his current contract - should still have his best years in the game ahead. Van Persie, meanwhile, is edging closer and closer to the twilight stages of his career at 30.

Manchester United have been linked with Costa before, shortly after the deal that saw Moyes tie up his first marquee signing in the form of former Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata.

I'm not saying Moyes should actively look to offload Van Persie - far from it. However, if he does indeed have his heart set on a move back to Arsenal, then Moyes will obviously have to be ready to move for a replacement.

Costa should be that replacement.

Robin Van Persie
Premier League
Manchester United
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