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

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

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