Manchester United are keen to sell Robin Van Persie to Barcelona for £38m in the summer transfer window, according to one of the most important Catalonian newspapers.

There have been plenty of rumours recently about Van Persie's future after pundit and former player Mark Lawrenson suggested that the Netherlands striker had handed in a transfer request because he is not happy at Old Trafford.

Barcelona are looking for a top striker and although their first choice is still Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, they are monitoring Van Persie's situation as their back-up option.

Catalonian newspaper Sport claimed on its front page today that the Spanish giants have already made an approach for Van Persie and Manchester United have asked them for £38m to start negotiations about a possible deal.

However, manager Davis Moyes ridiculed suggestions about Van Persie's transfer request on Saturday, following United's 1-0 home loss against Newcastle.

"That is absolute nonsense. I don't know what harder or tougher word I could say but that's as good as I've got," said Moyes.

Barcelona are short of a striker after David Villa was sold to Atletico Madrid last summer and manager Gerardo Martino has already told his club that the squad needs a striker to partner Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Manchester United signed Van Persie in summer 2012 after paying £24m to Arsenal. Since his arrival, he has been a key player for the team, heading the Premier League scoring charts in each of the past two seasons.

This season he has scored seven goals in 11 Premier League games but some pundits suggest that he is not happy in Manchester as the team are ninth in the table and their chances of regaining the title diminish with every game.

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