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Man Utd rated FAVOURITES for Arsenal ace Van Persie

Manchester United are now regarded as FAVOURITES for Arsenal contract rebel Robin van Persie. The Sunday Mirror says Van Persie was ordered to miss Arsenal's pre-season tour by Arsene Wenger.

The Dutch striker wanted to go on the trip to China and south-east Asia and told his Arsenal team-mates he was keen to be part of the ­preparations for the new season.

But in their meeting, boss Wenger told Van Persie he felt it was best for the striker to remain in England.

And Manchester United have now emerged as favourites to sign Van Persie - providing the Old Trafford club can avoid a transfer auction.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has made it clear he will not be held to ransom by Arsenal.

The danger to United is that arch-rivals Manchester City have the spending power to top their offer while Juventus also remain interested.

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Tribal Football Staff

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