Manchester clubs lead the market as the race for Robin van Persie intensifies

The Dutch international has refused to attend Arsenal's pre-season tour in an attempt to engineer an exit from Arsenal and a move to Etihad stadium looks great value
Robin van Persie's refusal to join his Arsenal teammates on their pre-season tour to the Far East has futher fuelled speculation that the 28-year-old is destined not to play for the Gunners again.

Paddy Power's price of 6/5 (2.20) on Manchester City being van Persie's next club looks a superb price given their interest and their competition, rivals Manchester United, have yet to show any firm interest in acquiring his services.

United are available at a similar price of 69/50 (2.38) but without doubt Manchester City are the best, and seemingly only option for Van Persie at present with no firm offer from the red half of Manchester.

Amid reports that Roberto Mancini is ready to offer the want-away Dutchman a bumper wage with the Premier League champions, the option to still back City as his next club at odds-against will prove very popular with punters.

Arsenal had previously stated their intention to hold Van Persie to his current contract which expires at the end of the 2012-13 season, at which point he would be able to leave for free.

That option was seen as preferable to losing another star asset to a Premier League rival, as with Samir Nasri the previous season.

However, Van Persie seems intent on forcing through a move and with Manchester City having both the financial clout and the offer of Champions League football, the price of 6/5 (2.20) is well worth investing in.

Even if Manchester United were to enquire about the services of the striker, Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to match the wages that their city-rivals could offer, especially for a player with a chequered injury record.

Much like their moves for strikers Carlos Tevez and Emanuel Adebayor in the past, the Premier League champions seem unlikely to turn down the opportunity to add another talented striker, and last season's top goalscorer, to their ranks, especially with this latest development potentially forcing Wenger's hand as to his availability.

Tip: Manchester City to be Robin van Persie's next club

Jim Knight is Betting Editor at and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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