Arsenal seems to have beaten Manchester United in the race to sign promising teenager Aaron Ramsey.
United had effectively declared victory last week in a Premier League tussle to capture the 17-year-old Cardiff midfielder's signature, but the young Welshman said Tuesday that his preferred destination is Arsenal.
Cardiff, which plays in the League Championship, wants five million pounds (US$ 9 million) for Ramsey and negotiations are continuing.
"The only deal with a loan-back option was with Manchester United but ultimately it is up to the player to decide where he wants to go," Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale said. "In an ideal world I would have wished him to go to Manchester United were he to leave us.
"But we have to be careful as we have relationships with Arsenal and want to do business with them in the future."
United, the Premier League and European champion, conceded on its Web site that it had been "snubbed" by Ramsey, who played 21 times last season for FA Cup finalist Cardiff.
The Red Devils had gone public last week to announce a fee being agreed with Cardiff and that a deal was just waiting for personal terms to be resolved and a medical examination.