United Clear Spared Jail ... Elgan Roberts Title Favourites; Mancini Insisting Van Persie and Rooney Firepower Puts Fergie in Box Seat

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), August 18, 2012 | Go to article overview

United Clear Spared Jail ... Elgan Roberts Title Favourites; Mancini Insisting Van Persie and Rooney Firepower Puts Fergie in Box Seat


MANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini is certain Robin van Persie will improve Manchester United and has once again stated his belief the Red Devils should be seen as the favourites for this season's Premier League title.

It was confirmed yesterday that van Persie's move from Arsenal to United was complete, with the Dutchman putting pen-to-paper on a four-year deal.

The capture of last term's Golden Boot winner represents a bold statement of intent on the part of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is on a mission in 2012-13 to reclaim the Premier League crown his side were pipped to in dramatic fashion by their derby rivals City in May.

A week ago Mancini had already labelled Ferguson's men as favourites to win the title, and speaking yesterday at a press conference to preview City's opening home clash with Southampton, he made it clear his feeling on the matter had only grown stronger.

Robin van Persie Asked if it was even more so the case that United should have the favourite's tag with van Persie among their ranks, Mancini said: "Yes, for sure, and I was serious when I said this last week because United have played for the title always, every year for 20 years.

"Although we won the last championship, we can't change this in one year.

"For this reason, I think they are favourites for the title, and now they have van Persie - he is a really top player, the best striker last year.

"With Wayne Rooney, they will have one of the best couple of strikers in the Premier League."

Questions have been raised over the reported pounds 24m fee for van Persie, who is 29 and has suffered with injury problems in the past, but Mancini is in no doubt that United are better off for having the Holland striker.

He said: "I think van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world. I am sure they are better with him. Anybody who bought him would be better."

It was felt Mancini wanted to sign van Persie himself, although he claims it was not a realistic possibility.

"I felt he was going to stay at Arsenal or sign for another team, but not us," he said.

"We already have four strikers. It was impossible for us to sign another one."

The one player City have recruited this summer is England international Jack Rodwell, who could be set for his debut in tomorrow's game, a week after his transfer from Everton was announced. …

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