Roberto Mancini confident of beating Manchester United to signature of Robin van Persie

City still to table a bid for the Arsenal striker but do not expect a repeat of battle for Nasri

Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, is privately confident that Manchester United do not pose a threat to him buying Robin van Persie, despite the growing sense that Sir Alex Ferguson will make one big move in the transfer market this summer in an attempt to prise back the Premier League title.

City have not yet tabled a bid for Van Persie, their top summer transfer target, though Mancini has no sense that United are preparing to provoke a repeat of last summer's chase for Samir Nasri by making a move of their own. The Premier League champions have felt for several weeks that they are getting close to agreeing personal terms with the Arsenal captain, who has also been shown around houses in the North-west by City.

But despite Mancini's relaxed outlook where last season's runners-up are concerned, United do have the funds for one big-money transfer this summer and Ferguson, who knows that the prospect of taking the title back off City will be vastly more difficult if they have Van Persie, may well argue the case for making the 28-year-old that signing. Though the player's age means that this would be a £20m outlay with minimal sell-on potential, a United side with Wayne Rooney operating behind Van Persie would be dangerous.

United's policy of not paying substantial sums for players who are over the age of 27 goes right back to 1997, when Henning Berg and Teddy Sheringham were the last outfield players of that age – Dimitar Berbatov aside – for whom United have paid more than £3m. But Berbatov proves there can be an exception to the rule and though United are unlikely to match the salary Rooney secured for himself in October 2010, a substantial signing-on fee could ease Van Persie's way to Old Trafford.

Arsenal, who did not move yesterday to speak to Van Persie after his declaration of intent to leave, would be far more willing to negotiate with United than with City – the club to whom Arsène Wenger has declared he would not sell another player.

If United do seek to capitalise on the situation, they may feel they can exploit the gap between Mancini – who once again wants to do early business – and his football administrator Brian Marwood, who must marry the Italian's desire with the strictures of Uefa's financial fair play regime. There is already frustration in the Mancini camp that Marwood is delaying on a formal opening bid for the Dutch striker.

Van Persie's determination to leave provoked the most outspoken attack yet on the Arsenal board by the club's second biggest shareholders, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri, who have written to owner Stan Kroenke expressing "deep reservations" about how the American is running the club. Usmanov and Moshiri said in the letter obtained by the Associated Press that a "tight" financial regime is leading to Wenger "selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements".

Arsenal said last night that the letter, demanding a rights issue to reduce the club's debt and bring in funds, had "been received and the contents considered". But privately, the club are unmoved by this latest attack on their strategy by Usmanov and remain utterly convinced that a self-sustaining financial model is the right way ahead after 15 successive seasons in the Champions League.

Usmanov, who has been resolutely ignored by Kroenke, added: "It appears that a place in the Champions League will be the pinnacle of our achievement again next season. Unfortunately, in the future we may see this ambition lowered further."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence