Arsenal and Manchester United: Can RVP seal a historic move to Old Trafford?
Arsenal's main man Robin Van Persie is being strongly linked with a move to Premier League rivals Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson is confident of sealing the deal before the transfer window slams shut.
The move, if it does go through, would prove to be a historic one for two of the Premier League's biggest clubs, as no-one since Viv Anderson in 1987 has moved directly from Arsenal to Manchester United.
Former French international Mikael Silverstre was the last player to move the other way, sealing a shock move from Old Trafford to the Emirates in 2008. Unfortunately for Arsenal, Silvestre's best days were left at the Theatre of Dreams. The former Inter Milan man failed to produce the goods in north London and had clearly lost his greatest attribute, pace.
Transfers between the two giants have been few and far between. George Graham and Frank Stapleton both left Arsenal for United in 1972 and 1981 respectively but Brian Kidd was the last player before Silvestre in 1974 to move from United to Arsenal. But it is totally understandable. Why would you want to sell one of your players to one of your fiercest rivals in the battle for honours and supremacy?
However, the Dutchman's situation at the Emirates is clear. He has one year left on his contract and Arsenal can either cash in now or try to convince him to stay for one more year and lose him for nowt. Arsenal could quite possibly go on to end their trophy drought this season with RVP in their side, but what's to stop him from walking away in May claiming that he has now won a trophy and wants a new experience?
Although RVP's goals and assists were invaluable to the Arsenal last season, as they clinched a Champions League place, the club would move on. Podolski, Giroud and Carzola are no duds and they should shine given time in the Premier League.
But letting your main man go to one of your biggest rivals could come back to haunt them. If RVP left for Italy or Spain it wouldn't be so bad. His goals and influence wouldn't affect them so badly. But if he were to join United, and struck up an understanding with Rooney - scoring goals every week - Arsenal may rue their decision.
United ended last season, like Arsenal, empty-handed. Sergio Aguero's late winner for Manchester City against QPR was a cruel blow for Sir Alex and he will not want to experience that emotion again. With RVP in their side, United could take a gigantic leap towards regaining the Premier League title and retaining their dominance over City.
For Arsenal, losing RVP could go one of two ways. They may struggle without their main catalyst and drop out of the top four or the new boys could come in and give the club a new lease of life. Either way, it's going to be an interesting season at Arsenal.
Calling all Arsenal fans: If RVP were to leave, who would you prefer he joined? Do you think Wenger can convince him to stay and sign a new deal at the Emirates? How important is RVP to the Gunners? How much would it take for you to let RVP go to United? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
Calling all Manchester United fans: Who much would you love to see RVP in a United shirt? What do you think he would bring to the club? How much would you be prepared to pay to take him to Old Trafford? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.