“Man City now see signing Van Persie as a badge of honour”
Despite being the early frontrunners to sign Arsenal goal machine Robin van Persie, Manchester City now face stiff competition from both Manchester United and Juventus in the race to secure the Dutchman. But as the Life’s a Pitch team explains, Man City will be determined not to lose out in the race to sign Van Persie to their neighbours, while rumours of interest in Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuaín are most likely City “trying to force Van Persie’s hand”.
“That is probably City doing two things,” says journalist and author Ian Ridley of the Higuaín links. “One, showing their fans that they’ve got an alternative [to Van Persie]. And also trying to force Van Persie and his agent’s hand a bit. I think they see this now as a badge of honour to sign Van Persie, [rather than] lose him to United. It won’t be so bad losing him to Juventus, but [securing Van Persie] would be a great statement for United to make and City wouldn’t like that and I don’t think the City owners would like that.”
Man City’s inability to close the Van Persie deal has left boss Roberto Mancini frustrated, particularly as football administration officer Brian Marwood is responsible for transfers, not him. The People’s Dave Kidd believes Mancini should be in charge of his transfers. He explains: “I think Mancini might have a point to be honest. I think the most successful clubs are still run by strong managers in this country. That is the kind of template that works. I think a manager needs to have control over his own transfer policy.”
One transfer that would make life easier for Mancini would be the sale of Carlos Tévez, says the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield. ”You could certainly argue they need a clean break on that front, they’ve been unofficially trying to offload him for over a year now and he’s still on the books. Some interesting comments from his compatriot Pablo Zabaleta suggested that Carlos has changed and has learned from everything that happened last year and will come back a different person in the new season… and 24 hours later Mancini is quoted saying you can’t change Carlos Tévez.”
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