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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.

Last Updated: 01/01/13 at 15:38 Post Comment

Robin van Persie: In action against City's Matija Nastasic

Robin van Persie: In action against City's Matija Nastasic

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.

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.

"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."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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