Manchester United are being given a hand in their bid for Robin van Persie - by Manchester City chief Brian Marwood. The Sunday Mirror says City transfer chief Marwood is set to jeopardise the club's bid to sign Arsenal striker Van Persie by refusing to make him their highest-paid player.

And that will delight ­rivals United, who believe they can win the race for Van Persie if City do not blow the bank.

City already have big problems trying to sell ­Emmanuel ­Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz due to their huge wage packets.

And Marwood believes it would be a significant and unnecessary risk to pay Van Persie, who turns 29 next month and has a poor ­injury record, any more than £150,000 a week.

United pay Wayne ­Rooney £200,000 a week and could match City's reduced ­salary offer.