Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is certain striker Robin van Persie will improve Manchester United and has reiterated his belief they should be seen as the favourites for the Barclays Premier League title.

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, when asked if Ferguson's men should have the favourites 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."

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