Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is certain Robin van Persie will improve Manchester United and makes them title favourites.
It was confirmed this morning that Van Persie’s move from Arsenal to United was complete, with the Dutchman putting pen-to-paper on a four-year deal at Old Trafford.
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 speaking today at a press conference to preview City’s league campaign opening home clash with Southampton on Sunday, he made it clear his feeling on the matter had only grown stronger.
Asked if it was even more so the case that United 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.
“Although we won the last championship, we can’t change this in one year.
“For this reason, I think they are favourites for the title, and now they have Van Persie – he is a really top player, the best striker last year. With Wayne Rooney, they will have one of the best couple of strikers in the Premier League.”