Found January 01, 2013 on Fox Soccer:
Manchester_city_fc_d394
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has claimed he was "very close" to signing Robin van Persie last summer. The prolific Dutchman was heavily linked with the Barclays Premier League champions before opting to sign for rivals Manchester United in a reported £22million deal. Mancini has previously admitted he was interested in signing the 29-year-old striekr but has only now indicated how strongly City pursued him. The Italian said: "We wanted Van Persie because we knew he could be an important player. "He is totally different from our other strikers. We wanted him for the Champions League and for the Premier League. "We were very close. We were sure he was for us but this did not happen and now we can do nothing. "We were very close three or four months before he joined United." Van Persie, who scored 37 goals for Arsenal last season, sparked a scramble for his services when he revealed he would not be renewing his contract at the Emirates Stadium. When he was unveiled as a United player in August he said he had listened to the "little boy" inside him when making his choice of club. Mancini said he knew why City failed in their bid but would not give a reason. When asked if it related to money, Mancini said: "It is not the problem." Van Persie has hit the ground running at Old Trafford and has already scored 17 times for United in all competitions. With United beginning 2013 with a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League, Mancini believes Van Persie is the key difference between the two sides from last season. He said: "I think Van Persie, for United, is an important player. "It is clear he changed this situation. In this moment, the difference is this." Mancini has often bemoaned the output of his own strikers in recent weeks. Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli have all struggled for goals of late - a problem highlighted in the shock Boxing Day loss at Sunderland. Dzeko responded by scoring twice at Norwich on Saturday and Aguero was also on target in a 4-3 win. Mancini insists he retains faith in his attacking options even though he did not get the player he wanted last summer. He said: "I am happy, very happy. Last year we were the team that scored the most goals in the Premier League. "But when you can improve your team with another top player, this is important. "With Van Persie we would play with three strikers sometimes." While Mancini has admitted injuries and African Nations Cup absences may force him into the transfer market in January, he is adamant he will not be selling players. It had widely been assumed City would need to move players on to bring in new faces. One player linked with a possible exit is Balotelli, who has performed well below his best this season. But Mancini feels City's owners do not want to see the Italian leave. "Sheikh Mansour likes Balotelli because he recognises the talent and he exports the name of City over the world," Mancini said in The Sun. "We need to realise Mario was signed as a major investment and this is not a club that throws its capital through the window. "I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Mancini given deadline by FA

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has until Friday afternoon to comment on his criticism of referee Kevin Friend following their Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland. The Football Association wrote to Mancini following his claim that "maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas", as Friend missed what Mancini felt was a clear foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to...

Mancini: We were close to RVP

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is the difference between the two teams at the moment. Van Persie chose United over title rivals City when he left Arsenal in a reported ?22m deal last summer. Mancini has previously admitted he was interested in signing the 29-year-old but has only now indicated how strongly City pursued him...

Mancini considering January buys

Roberto Mancini admits he might be forced to consider signing some new players in the January transfer window. The Manchester City manager is concerned his squad will struggle to cope with injuries and players leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations, and has ruled out selling any players. It has been suggested that Mario Balotelli could be on his way back to Milan. The Toure brothers...

Gillingham swoop for Gregory

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has until Friday afternoon to comment on his criticism of referee Kevin Friend following their Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland. The Football Association wrote to Mancini following his claim that "maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas", as Friend missed what Mancini felt was a clear foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to...

Cahill issues title challenge

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is the difference between the two teams at the moment. Van Persie chose United over title rivals City when he left Arsenal in a reported ?22m deal last summer. Mancini has previously admitted he was interested in signing the 29-year-old but has only now indicated how strongly City pursued him...

Aguero struggling for Arsenal game

Roberto Mancini hopes Sergio Aguero will recover from his hamstring injury to figure in Manchester City's next Premier League clash with Arsenal in a fortnight. The Argentine striker scored but then limped out of the champions' 3-0 win over Stoke but the City boss expects him to return in quick time. "I don't think it is serious. It is his hamstring for sure but...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.