ESPN understands that Manchester United's bid for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie may have been as low as £12.5 million.
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Van Persie, 28, revealed this month that he does not intend to sign a new contract with Arsenal, with his current deal due to expire in the summer of 2013.
The Netherlands international said his ambitions were not matched by the Gunners, and interest in signing him has subsequently increased.
The BBC had suggested on Friday that Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus have made offers in the region of £15 million for Van Persie, although Arsenal want a fee nearer £30 million.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson later confirmed that the Red Devils had, indeed, made an offer for the Dutch striker.
Speaking to MUTV, Ferguson said: "Obviously Arsenal have given out the fact that we've made a bid for him. We try to keep business as close as possible to us until the moment we conclude a deal. There's no point talking about something that might not happen.
"There are other clubs interested in the player. We've shown an interest and that's where we're at at the moment."
Arsene Wenger is thought to be furious that he is being backed into a corner by the club captain and if the Gunners choose to make a stand, they will demand at least double the price United may have so far offered.
Speculation is rife that the clubs are bidding low in the knowledge that Van Persie is making his future at Emirates Stadium untenable.