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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed he wants to sign Arsenal goal machine Robin van Persie.

Mancini has hailed Van Persie as “one of the best strikers in Europe”, and says he will target the Dutchman in the summer.

The Italian has already raided the Gunners for Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy since being hired by City in 2009.

Although Mancini claims he expects Van Persie to sign a new deal and stay with the Gunners, his expression of interest will worry and infuriate Arsenal fans – and is a clear signal that mega-rich City are ready to test van Persie’s commitment.

“We are interested in all good players,” said Mancini. “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 Messi, Ronaldo and with Sergio and Mario. I think he is a fantastic striker, but I think he will remain with Arsenal.”

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was particularly angry with Mancini for whisking Nasri away last summer, so the Italian’s comments about Van Persie comments will not go down well.

“I think if there is a good player who wants to leave a club, then we are interested,” added Mancini.

“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.”

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