MANCHESTER CITY hope to seal the signature of Robin van Persie by selling Emmanuel Adebayor to Tottenham for £5million.
Spurs, now prepared to deliver a massive U-turn and pay nearly all of Adebayor’s £170,000-a-week wages, aim to do the deal this week.
City believe the transfer would be a major step towards landing Arsenal’s skipper, as the Dutchman is not on speaking terms with the Togo star.
Van Persie, who insists he does not want to sign a new Emirates contract, is understood to be keen on a move to the Etihad. But City boss Roberto Mancini is aware there is no way Van Persie will go near the club if Adebayor remains.
The pair clashed in September 2009 when Adebayor, having just signed for City, raked his studs across Van Persie’s face and then stamped on Cesc Fabregas during an explosive game.
Van Persie released a statement condemning a ‘mindless and malicious stamp’ and the pair have been at war ever since.
City are aware of the situation and know they must move Adebayor on, though they feared Spurs would struggle to meet the player’s huge wages.
He has two years left on his current deal but Spurs — also now paying Gareth Bale more than £100,000-a-week — are pushing out the boat for new boss Andre Villas-Boas.
Adebayor scored 18 goals during his loan at White Hart Lane last season and is keen to stay.
City know they must remove their excess big earners from the wage bill as they look to step up their bid for Van Persie.
They are ready to make a £15m initial offer, though last season’s 37-goal ace is still likely to be an Arsenal player when the two teams meet in a Beijing friendly on July 27. Apart from City, the only clubs to show a firm interest in the player are Manchester United and Juventus.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is set to meet Van Persie again this week for more talks and has already warned him he may have to remain at the club for the rest of his contract.
City, who do not want to pay more than £20m, are also willing to offer striker Edin Dzeko in a player-plus-cash deal.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has always been a big Dzeko fan but would recoil at his £130,000-a-week pay demands.
City are also hoping either AC Milan or Bayern Munich will make a move.
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein insists the Van Persie situation will drag on.
He said: “I think he will be there for the start of training. What happens after that remains to be seen.
“Once a player comes out and says what he did in his recent article, it is normally the prelude to a departure. But there is no doubt Arsenal will do everything they can to try to keep him and make sure he sees out his last year.”
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