Manchester City

Mancini confirms Van Persie interest

March 8, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says he is interested in signing Robin van Persie this summer, but admits the Arsenal skipper is likely to remain with the Gunners.

Robin van Persie
GettyImagesRobin van Persie has attracted the attention of many top European clubs

Van Persie has netted 32 goals in all competitions for the north London club this season, leading Mancini to compare the Dutchman to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The 28-year-old is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium in 2013 and has put talks over a new deal on hold until the summer.

Mancini says he would love to add van Persie to his already star-studded ranks if he became available, but does not think that will happen.

"We are interested in all good players," Mancini is quoted as saying in the English press. "This is normal, but not only us. I think all the good teams are interested in Van Persie.

"I think Van Persie at this moment is one of the best strikers in Europe with [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and with Sergio [Aguero] and Mario [Balotelli]. I think he is a fantastic striker, but I think he will remain with Arsenal."

City acquired Samir Nasri from Arsenal last summer and have also signed Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor from the Gunners in recent years.

"I think if there is a good player who wants to leave a club, then we are interested," Mancini said. "But if this player wants to stay, we don't have any problem. In my opinion, Van Persie will stay at Arsenal.

"I think Robin van Persie will sign a new contract with Arsenal because if Arsenal lose also Van Persie, they will have a big problem.

"I think Arsenal will buy good players in the summer. Arsenal is a top team. They want to win the next Premier League, so for these reasons I think he will stay."