Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed his interest in Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, but believes the Dutchman will remain with the Gunners.
MANCINI A FAN OF VAN PERSIE
The prolific 28-year-old, who has netted 32 goals for the north London club this season, is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium in 2013 and has put talks over a new deal on hold until the summer.
Mancini would love to add Van Persie to his already star-studded ranks if he became available, but does not think that will happen.
Quoted in several national newspapers, the Italian said: "We are interested in all good players. This is normal, but not only us. I think all the good teams are interested in Van Persie.
"I think Van Persie at this moment is one of the best strikers in Europe with [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and with Sergio [Aguero] and Mario [Balotelli].
"I think he is a fantastic striker, but I think he will remain with Arsenal."
City acquired Samir Nasri from Arsenal last summer and have also signed Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor from the Gunners in recent years.
Mancini added: "I think if there is a good player who wants to leave a club, then we are interested.
"But if this player wants to stay, we don't have any problem. In my opinion, Van Persie will stay at Arsenal.
"I think Robin van Persie will sign a new contract with Arsenal because if Arsenal lose also Van Persie, they will have a big problem.
"I think Arsenal will buy good players in the summer.
"Arsenal is a top team. They want to win the next Premier League, so for these reasons I think he will stay."