The Daily Mail says Silvestre was last night on the verge of an astonishing move to bitter rivals Arsenal.

The 31-year-old France international had appeared to be on his way to Manchester City or Sunderland. But it's revealed that Arsenal came in with a late offer to tempt Silvestre into one of the summer's most unexpected transfers.

Sources close to the player revealed last night that the 31-year-old had been won over by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, one of his home country's most revered coaches, and the promise of Champions League football at the Emirates.

Arsenal will expect to pay United around £750,000 for a player who moved to Old Trafford from Inter Milan in the 1998-99 season and will offer him £50,000-a-week.