Premier League - Mancini: City 'very close' to Van Persie coup

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has claimed he was "very close" to signing Robin van Persie last summer.

PA Sport
Premier League - Mancini: City 'very close' to Van Persie coup
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Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates his goal against West Bromwich Albion during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England December 29, 2012 (Reuters)

The prolific Dutchman was heavily linked with the Premier League champions before opting to sign for rivals Manchester United in a reported £22 million deal.

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."

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