Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says his attempts to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie have stalled, but insists he is trying to push a deal through.
Reports on Wednesday morning had suggested United were closing in on the signing of Van Persie, who last month told Arsenal he had no plans to sign a new contract at Emirates Stadium.
The 29-year-old is in the final year of his existing deal and in recent weeks has been the subject of bids from United, Juventus, and Manchester City.
United have been favourites with bookmakers to win the race to sign the Netherlands international ever since Ferguson confirmed his interest several weeks ago.
But the Scot said late on Wednesday night: "We've made a bid, they [Arsenal] have been trying to negotiate with other clubs.
"I don't have a gut feeling about it. We can't get a breakthrough with Arsenal."
It is understood Arsenal are reluctant to enter formal negotiations until a bid exceeds £20million.
United are understood to have offered around £15m.
"I don't know what Arsenal's thoughts are because they're not giving anything away," Ferguson told reporters after United's friendly against Barcelona in Gothenburg, which finished in a 0-0 draw before Barca won 2-0 on penalties.
"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."
Shortly before Ferguson made his comments, CNN Italian correspondent and Gazzetta dello Sport contributor Tancredi Palmeri had said a move to Old Trafford was edging closer.
Writing on his Twitter page, Palmeri said: "Robin Van Persie informed Juventus via a phone talk that negotiations between him and Manchester United are on advanced stage."
United's increased efforts to sign Van Persie come after Sao Paulo starlet Lucas Moura on Wednesday evening confirmed he had snubbed a move to Manchester, instead choosing to join Paris Saint-Germain (see Related Articles).
The developments led to Man Utd - who were already odds-on with bookmakers to win the race to sign Van Persie this month - being slashed to just 1/5 to complete a deal for Van Persie before the summer transfer window closes.
AC Milan, Barcelona, and Real Madrid have also shown interest in Van Persie, who on Wednesday was with the Arsenal squad at their pre-season training camp in Germany.