Dutchman earmarked as Tevez replacement.
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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has dropped the biggest hint yet that he is ready to launch a bid for Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie. But the Italian will only move for the PFA Player of the Year if one of his current strikers leaves the Etihad this summer.
Dutchman Van Persie scored 37 times in a staggering season for Arsenal but the 28-year-old has just one year left on his current deal and is stalling on a new contract. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted he would rather lose Van Persie on a free than sell him this summer but the North London club could be tempted if mega-rich City make a huge offer.
“We will sign a striker if one of our forwards will leave,” Mancini told Tuttosport. “We want to keep all of them.
“[Robin] van Persie is a top class player. His situation is different than the [Gael] Clichy and [Samir] Nasri ones, when we signed them. It was difficult to keep them in London for [Arsene] Wenger.”
Mancini ruled out a move for Napoli forward Edison Cavani but admitted he has long admired the Uruguayan, who has scored 49 goals in 68 games for Napoli.
“It’s impossible to sign Cavani at his current price, Van Persie it’s different. Cavani has everything. I wanted him when I was at Inter and he didn’t score so many goals.”
The Italian also said he had forgiven Tevez for the row which left the forward exiled in his native Argentine for nearly four months of the season but conceded the former Manchester United striker’s future was still uncertain.
“I forgave Tevez and his goals were useful for the title. He will stay at City if he does not ask to be sold. [Mario] Balotelli will stay for sure,” added Mancini.