Roberto Mancini has insisted that he is not in charge of transfers amid numerous reports that club officials have moved to block an attempt to sign Robin van Persie.
Only a few hours before the London Olympics opening ceremony tomorrow evening, Arsenal face Manchester City in a pre-season friendly at the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, with van Persie the obvious hot-topic for discussion at the pre-match press conference.
When asked whether he was worried at City’s slow progress in this summer’s transfer market, Mancini replied:
“For this question, speak to the man in charge. I am not in charge of this.
“It is important [to get players quickly] because, after what we did last year, it is important we continue to win. This year will not be easy. It will be harder than last year and for this reason, we need to improve our team.
“I am not the man in charge of this. We have a man who works for this and we hope that they can do a good job.”
The unnamed person in charge is apparently football director Brian Marwood, who has reportedly told Mancini that the club must offload some of their high-earning players before they bring any new players in (which would make sense). The problem City have is that none of the other clubs want to match their ridiculous wages, so they are a little bit stuck.
Pressed for further details about where he stood with the transfer of van Persie, Mancini was tight-lipped and very quick to make reference to the four world-class strikers he has available at City.
“It is difficult to say this at this moment because he is an Arsenal player and he is not our player.
“We know that Van Persie is a fantastic striker, but we have four strikers and with these strikers we won the Championship last year.
“But still, Van Persie is a top player. We can say different things about this – but he is an Arsenal player.”
Having too many world-class strikers is not something that most managers normally have to worry about. The big question is whether Eden Dzeko will finalise a move to Juventus, paving the way for our captain to move half way across the country. I can’t say that I would be particularly pleased if van Persie were to move to another Premier League club, but I still have to concede that it is looking quite likely.