Manchester City Transfer News: We Were Very Close To Singing Robin van Persie From Arsenal, Says Roberto Mancini
Robin van Persie (Photo: Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed that he was keen on singing Robin van Persie before he made the controversial move from Arsenal to Manchester United during the summer transfer window.
The 29-year-old Dutch striker has been on a purple patch this entire season for the Red Devils scoring 16 goals in all the 21 appearances.
"Robin van Persie is a very important player for United," Mancini was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "He has changed their situation. He is the difference between us."
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"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."
Manchester United lead the Premier League charts with 52 points in 21 games. City are second with seven points adrift of Red Devils.
Earlier Van Persie had revealed that he had family reason behind the move from Emirates Stadium to Old Trafford.
"It wasn't easy to leave the Gunners. I didn't want to. But this was a lifetime opportunity," the 29-year-old told talkSPORT recently.
"My kids are both Gooners (sic), so it was tough. But I've more than doubled my wage, which is ace."
"That gives my two little ones a better chance in life. I know the baby is upset, but I had to leave."
"It still makes me laugh to think about the new contract I was offered by them."
"I said, 'Oh really?' Then I dropped it in the bin and packed my bags."
In December, Arsenal's Uzbek shareholder Alisher Usmanov slammed the club's decision to sell off Robin Van Persie to rivals Manchester United.
Speaking to American broadcaster CNBC, the Gunners' second-largest shareholder said that the board let down manager Arsene Wenger by selling off the Dutch striker.
"This decision (losing Van Persie) was a mistake," he said, referring to the £24-million summer transfer.
Earlier Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has often been criticized for letting Van Persie go, revealed that City had made an offer for the Dutchman, before he decided to leave for Old Trafford.
Wenger had confirmed that Van Persie had turned down a £300,000-a-week offer from City to join United for a £24-million fee.
He became the first player since Viv Anderson to move from Emirates Stadium to Old Trafford. The deal was widely criticized by Arsenal fans and even Wenger wasn't spared.
Van Persie played for Arsenal from 2004 to 2012 appearing in 194 matches in which he found the 96 times - an impressive record.
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