Arsenal captain Robin van Persie looks set to play in the club's pre-season friendly in Cologne on Sunday, with his move to Manchester United unlikely to go through in the next 24 hours.
United, rivals Manchester City, and Juventus have all had bids for Van Persie rejected in the past few weeks, and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted on Wednesday night that his efforts to complete a deal for the 29-year-old have stalled.
City and Juve have cooled their interest in Van Persie in recent days, but Ferguson insists he is still trying to push a deal through after missing out on Lucas Moura, who earlier this week snubbed a move to Old Trafford and instead agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain from Sao Paulo.
Van Persie has been at the club's pre-season training camp in Germany throughout the week, and with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger not wanting to sell to United, his skipper is set to start against Cologne.
And the Netherlands international could could yet start the season at Emirates Stadium, according to the Daily Mirror.
The saga is likely to be ongoing for some time. At time of writing, United remain the huge odds-on favourites with bookmakers Sky Bet to be Van Persie's next club, and on Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported that the club's chief executive David Gill was likely to get involved in negotiations this weekend and could look to hold talks with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
United have tabled a bid of around £15million for Van Persie, with the Gunners thought to be holding out for more than £20m before Wenger will consider selling to Ferguson.
"We've made a bid, they [Arsenal] have been trying to negotiate with other clubs," said Ferguson earlier this week.
"I don't have a gut feeling about it. We can't get a breakthrough with Arsenal."
He added: "I don't know what Arsenal's thoughts are because they're not giving anything away.
"It's difficult to say why they're operating this way. I can't give you any more information. We just have to persevere.
"We are trying our best and hopefully it will come our way but there's no progress at this moment in time."