Whether Arsenal sell Robin van Persie to their rivals will, in some supporters eyes, define where they are going as a club. Are they going to compete with the big two? Or are they going to continue the frustrating pattern of selling their star players.
The puzzling element for many United fans when it comes to Van Persie, is they actually don't need the striker as much as they need a central midfielder to bolster their squad.
While United are pushing for Van Persie - an expected £20 million needed to secure his signature, a far more worthy target is passing them by the wayside.
Alex Song has been linked with a £15 million switch to Barcelona - The Cameroon international was excellent last season, showcasing his attacking talents and range of passing as well as his defensive play. The 24-year-old provided 11 assists last season, his best career return to date.
United have been caught short so far in their search for a midfielder, priced out of the market for Luka Modric, and missing out on Lucas Moura thanks to the greater spending power of PSG.
Alternative options include Moussa Dembele, Nuri Sahin, and even Victor Wanyama. Given Alex Song could be available, he would certainly stand out in that company, and proven in the Premier League.
He also has versatility, able to play centre-back if required, another string to his bow. But what are the chances of it happening?
Sadly for United, the prospects don't look encouraging. Reports have suggested Song has had his head turned - by Barcelona.
The Spaniards are looking for a midfielder to replace Seydou Keita in their squad, and Song is said to be keen.
But selling to Barcelona and selling to Manchester United is a different matter. Wenger has never sold a player to United, and their stance on Van Persie so far suggests they have no intention of starting just yet.
Even so, Song would be perfect for United, the duo of Song and Van Persie would be even better. The chances of it happening are slender, but Ferguson would be wise to strengthen the core of his team rather than to buy another star striker.
If there was the slightest chance of tempting Song, they should pursue it.
Who should United target in midfield? Would Song be a viable option?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald