Manchester United could find themselves with no choice but to sell Danny Welbeck to Tottenham and Arsenal as the reality of Financial Fair Play sets in, reports The Evening Standard.
The Red Devils shattered the British transfer record by bringing Angel Di Maria to Old Trafford, paying Real Madrid a reported £59.7million. On top of that, Di Maria will also earn around £200,000-a-week.
Having spent close to £200 million in just two years and Champions League revenue also missing, Manchester United are now running perilously close to the bottom line of the transfer budget. As a result, they find themselves with little choice but to cash in on some first team stars.
First out the door appears to be Welbeck, who has been told by Louis van Gaal that he is free to leave the club this summer. Originally, Manchester United told him he could not join a club competing for a top four place, but with just days left in the transfer window, Old Trafford officials may be forced to rescind that condition.
Forced to sell
Although he has been offered to clubs, interest appears to be stemming from a small area around north London. Arsenal and Tottenham are the only clubs willing to bid for the 23-year-old as of yet.
Van Gaal is also hoping to agree deals for the likes of Arturo Vidal and Daley Blind before the end of the transfer window, but it is becoming widely apparent that the coffers are almost empty.
Having left their main business until the final days of the window, Manchester United have compromised their position in the market. Clubs know they are desperate to buy and they are paying a premium because of it. Now they are desperate to balance the books, they are being forced to sell first team stars for under their valuation.
Manchester United want £16 million for Welbeck but Arsenal and Tottenham are only willing to pay £12 million. Again, it is the north London clubs that hold the upper hand in negotiations.
Arsenal striker problems
It is an almost identical situation to the one Arsenal found themselves in in 2012. Arsene Wenger was practically forced to sell Robin van Persie to a rival due to financial reasons.
Although Welbeck won't be nearly as a big a loss as Van Persie was to the Gunners, it will certainly feel like a hammerblow to United fans who have seen their club fall from their perch since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Following the injury to Olivier Giroud, Arsenal need a striker and Welbeck appears to be enticing Wenger. It's no doubt Arsenal fans would love to see Wenger get his own back on a Premier League rival.
With days left and Manchester United's option wearing thin, it appears Welbeck looks set for a move to north London be it for the red or white side.