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Sir Alex Ferguson is pondering whether to enter the race for wantaway Arsenal striker c, according to reports.

Manchester United’s veteran manager is said to be determined not to let the 2011/12 player of the year join newly-crowned champions Manchester City and increase their chances of retaining the title.

That means he could urge United to make a bid of around £25million for the 28-year-old, with City only prepared to offer £20million.

The Red Devils would be unable to match their neighbours’ offer of over £200,000 a week for RvP, but the Glazer family’s plans to float United on the US stock market could free up funds for Fergie to run Roberto Mancini close, according to the Daily Mail.

Van Persie dropped his bombshell yesterday when he said: “I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.”

It means Arsenal must now sell him this summer or force him to see out his contract and then lose him for nothing next year, while risking a fan revolt against a player who does not want to stay. And last night Gunners sources were conceding they would cash in.

Fergie is determined to spend big this summer after seeing City beat United to the title only on goal difference last season, despite all their spending.

He has already signed attacking midfielders Nick Powell from Crewe and Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and is said to be also eyeing another in Sao Paulo starlet Lucas Moura. Fergie has also been linked with Newcastle’s Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote.

Other clubs in the mix for van Persie, 29 in August, include Italian champions Juventus who have already had an £8million offer for him turned down. But City appeared to be in pole position – until news broke of United’s interest.

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