According to The Manchester Evening News, Manchester United is moving closer to a deal with Arsenal striker Robin van Persie; however, nothing has been confirmed by United or Arsenal. And in a display of perplexing randomness, Usain Bolt, the Jamaican track and field legend, said he would like to play for United.
When asked about Van Persie and Arsenal, Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson said, "We have made a bid and they've been trying to negotiate with other clubs. I don't have a gut feeling on it at the moment, I must admit. We're not getting any breakthrough with Arsenal."
If you don't have a "gut feeling" about the possible acquisition of Van Persie than why say anything at all? He lost the signing of Brazilian star Lucas Moura from Sao Paulo. Fergie has had a tough summer when it comes to the transfer market. Ferguson needs to talk about Van Persie to stay in good graces with the United fan base; and, oh yeah, isn't United's IPO about to be listed on the world's largest exchange?
The stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today as Manchester United attempts to pay off more of the heavy debt piled on the club in its 2005 take over. With United's 19 English championships, they are one of the most well-known teams in the world. The team's IPO has been highly anticipated for weeks. But many analysts think the debt-ridden team is overvalued and the offering is more dependent on investors wearing their fan insignias than their financial knowledge.
I get a kick out of conspiracy theories - I don't believe the majority of them - but I like how they can make you look at an event or situation in a different way. Could all of these stories surrounding United about going after Van Persie and Usain Bolts' desire for a tryout being heavily pushed by some in the media for the benefit of United's IPO? United could use some positive publicity this week after losing Lucas Moura and getting defeated by Barcelona in a pre-season friendly.
Bolt, who is dominating track and field at the London Olympics, first met the United manager and the team when he visited Manchester in 2009 to take part in a 150-meter sprint through the city. I'm amazed by how fast this story spread on the web and social media. United couldn't have asked for better publicity from what Bolt said…randomly…the week the team's IPO is about to be listed. What luck United has?
And in regard to acquiring the talents of Robin van Persie, I'll believe it when he signs. There have been so many rumors and leaks this summer regarding the Dutch striker. There's a different one every week, but Van Persie is still with Arsene Wenger and the Gunners.
Fergie and his bosses could have made the simple (and economical) choice to get in the conversation for Van Persie to wet the interests of prospective investors.
For the most popular soccer club on earth, losing Maura was a huge failure. And Arsenal wants a respectful price for Van Persie. He won't be cheap, especially on the heels of the Maura snub.
Sometimes in sports, the organizations with the most money can look the most desperate.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.