Arsenal have admitted defeat in their fight to keep club captain Robin van Persie and are now ready to start negotiations with Manchester United, according to The Sun.

The 29-year-old, who had announced that he will not sign an extension to his contract that runs out next year, was booed by the club's supporters as he came on as a second-half substitute in the Gunners' 4-0 win over FC Cologne on 12 August.

Wenger - van Persie
Arsenal are finally prepared to let van Persie go.

United are understood to be keen on signing van Persie and are believed to be preparing a second bid of around £22m for the Holland international, after their initial offer of £15m was knocked back by Arsenal.

The report says that the north London side were previously adamant that their talismanic striker would not be sold for any figure less than £25m. However, the club have now lowered the demands because they fear that their skipper could become a negative influence on the team if he is not sold, especially after being jeered by the fans.

Meanwhile, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has contacted Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger directly in an attempt to push through a move for van Persie, reports the Daily Mirror.

Alex Ferguson
Ferguson has decided to negotiate directly to land van Persie.

Ferguson earlier confirmed that the Red Devils had lodged a bid for the Dutch hitman but they have been left frustrated in their pursuit so far. The report says that the Scot is now planning to make another £20m-plus offer within the next few days and is hopeful that a personal approach from him will help his side complete the deal before the new league season kicks off on 18 August.

After the game against Cologne, Wenger stated that he still remains confident of van Persie staying at Arsenal for one more season but admitted that the club is yet to buy an able replacement for their captain, if he leaves.

"Robin scored 30 goals last season and you want to keep your best players. He was player of the year in England. We want to keep him. I cannot tell you more at the moment because I don't know more. We have not bought the players to replace Van Persie, but to strengthen our squad with the thinking Van Persie will stay. That's still my mind at the moment," the Daily Mail quoted the Frenchman.